How to Tell If Your Loved One Needs Hospice Care

nurse taking care of an elderly

Knowing that your loved one is terminally ill is painful. No matter how old you are, it is tough to let go – even when you know they are suffering and in need of peace. It becomes difficult to accept that it is a losing battle. Worse, making a decision about end-of-life care is challenging. To many, calling a hospice is a sign of surrender. They could not be more wrong – though hospice does mean that the end of life is near, it also means peace and comfort for both the patient and their family. Hospice focuses on enhancing the quality of life and making each day count.

Here are some signs that you’ll know when it is time to call a hospice in Southern Indiana for your beloved.

Frequent Trips to the Emergency Room

If you are spending more time at the hospital rather than at home, then the treatments may no longer be working. These trips to the hospital may even leave both the patient and the caregiver exhausted, which is not good for both of them. If you are tired of the numerous hospital visits, then it is time to contact hospice. Discuss with the care providers how hospice or palliative care will benefit the patient in the comfort of their home.

Frequent Pain

If your loved one is experiencing constant pain that is no longer responding to treatments, then it might be time to call hospice. The hospice team will provide specialized pain management.  This will help make the patient comfortable while helping them make the most out of the last moments of their life.

Decreased Quality of Life

Signs of reduced quality of life show that it is time to contact hospice. Some of the symptoms may be the inability to perform daily tasks, such as going to the bathroom and dressing, frequent sleeping, decreased appetite, and declining mental function, coupled with confusion and irritability. Contacting hospice on time can help alleviate these symptoms so that your loved ones can enjoy the rest of their time on Earth without any added pain.

When the Prognosis is Terminal

family member holding hands

Doctors can predict how long a patient has to live depending on the severity of their illness. If the doctor says that your loved one only has a few months to live, then you should call hospice right away. While this could be difficult news to accept, getting hospice or palliative care early will benefit your loved one greatly.

Readiness to Begin to Let Go

If you and your loved one have decided to stop pursuing curative treatments and instead seek comfort measures, then it is time for hospice. With such a decision, you are willing to accept the death process to happen naturally, neither hastening nor hindering it.

Deciding whether or not to enroll your loved one in hospice is truly difficult. Fortunately, knowing the signs will make the decision-making process more manageable. Calling hospice on time will improve the last moments of life for both the patient and their family.