When is Someone Ready for Hospice?
March 16th, 2022
By Danielle Andersen
It is important to keep in mind that the earlier a decision is made to enter hospice care, the more control you will have over the situation and the more options you will have for care and treatment. However, there is no single or even set of guidelines that signal when the time has come to seek hospice care. Rather, a wide variety of assessments in addition to consultation with a physician will lead to the decision to seek hospice care.
Here are a handful of common indicators that could suggest that someone is ready for hospice care:
- There have been multiple hospitalizations: Multiple hospital stays can be draining, particularly if the patient experiences continually declining health and misses home.
- The patient has experienced recurrent infections: Declining health is typically associated with weakened immune systems, leading to infections that can be difficult to treat for people whose health has already deteriorated.
- The patient’s ability to function declines: Declining abilities to perform basic functions of daily living can signal that hospice care is needed. These include the inability to walk, eat or drink, dress and groom, use the toilet, bathe, or transfer from a bed to a chair.
- The patient experiences an increasing frequency of significant symptoms: Certain symptoms, such as intense pain, shortness of breath, nausea, or constipation signal that a person’s health is failing. They can be extremely difficult to endure and significantly impact a person’s quality of life.
- The caregivers are exhausted: Caring for a person at home can be extremely stressful and difficult for friends and family, particularly if those caregivers are also juggling careers, families, and obligations of their own. We provide informational visits and admissions 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. We can admit an individual to hospice at any time.
Many patients will say that quality of life is more important than how long they will live. Hospice care from caring professionals like those at Knute Nelson can provide services to provide peace for the patient and family at the end of life, while also giving support and advice.