One of the most challenging seasons in life is caring for aging and ill family members. It is difficult to watch your loved ones suffer from symptoms of terminal illnesses, such as cancer, dementia, and heart disease. Feelings of helplessness and fear can take over thoughts clouding your judgment and adding to the stress of trying to juggle their needs and the demands of our busy lives.
The heartbreaking truth is that it is only a matter of time before your loved ones’ needs may become unmanageable without additional support or professional care, as their illness progresses.
Instead of focusing on the overwhelm, it’s time to allow our caring staff to support your family’s needs. This will allow you to focus on the most important things, time together and comfort. We understand the stress brought on by making medical decisions, providing care and trying to navigate increased medical visits takes a toll on caregivers, that is why we will work to tailor a care plan you need that surrounds the whole family. Here are three questions that can help you determine when’s the right time for hospice.
Does your loved one have life-limiting conditions?
Hospice care is the best choice of care option for patients diagnosed with a terminal illness and who have been determined to have less than six months to live. According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, the top five most common hospice diagnosis are as follows:
- Cancer – 29.6% of patients receiving hospice care are diagnosed with cancer.
- Heart disease – 17.4%
- Dementia – 15.9%
- Respiratory Diseases – 11%
- Stroke – 9.5%
Other common diagnoses that usually seek hospice services are individuals with chronic kidney disease, end-stage liver disorder, and ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. These are just examples, our specialists will assess your loved one and the circumstances and develop a personalized plan for care.
All of these life-limiting conditions require extensive support and comfort, which you and your loved one can get through hospice services. Furthermore, individuals with an end of life prognosis, can get the comfort and quality of life they need by seeking hospice care.
Is your loved one showing these signs of decline?
Another sign that it’s time for your loved one to seek hospice care is when their health and overall quality of life begins to deteriorate. Typically, people battling terminal illnesses will reach a point where curative treatments for their disease no longer work. When this happens, the patient will exhibit specific physical and mental signs of decline, such as:
- Frequent hospitalization or emergency room visits
- Unable to be independent and accomplish activities of daily living without assistance
- Recurring infection
- Loss of body weight and nutritional deficiencies showing up
- Loss of urinary and bowel control
- Unmanageable pain
- Decreased appetite and fluid intake
- Decreased mental alertness and cognitive function
- Rapid breathing or chest congestion
- Signs of stress from pain
Chronic illnesses will also take a toll on someone’s emotional well-being. So besides physical signs, your loved one may also display signs of declining emotional health , such as:
- Withdrawal from loved ones and beloved hobbies
- Making funeral plans, end-of-life wishes, and statements that are out of character
- Having visions or hallucinations
- Saying goodbye to loved ones or making apologies
- Loss of interest in communications
All of the aforementioned symptoms also serve as a guide so doctors would know if it’s time to recommend hospice to a patient. These conditions can also indicate hospice eligibility to hospice organizations or Medicare benefits.
Have you considered your loved one’s wishes?
As family members, it’s understandable to want to try and do every medical treatment that exists in the hopes of extending life and improving the quality. Although these actions may be coming from a place of love, it’s still important to consider and respect your sick loved one’s end-of-life wishes.
Do they want to pursue curative treatments or seek a type of comfort care that focuses on their emotional and spiritual well-being? Do they want to spend their last days in their home, surrounded by their family?
Understanding your loved one’s preferences will make it easier to decide what care options will best serve your family’s needs. If choosing hospice care is determined to be an option, know that hospice organizations honor the patients’ last wishes and integrate them into the patient’s care plan.
Furthermore, know that our team makes it a point to honor each client’s wishes while providing quality care which will allow you to focus on what is most important.
How to Start A Conversation About Hospice Care?
We hope that these three questions have helped you decide that it’s time for hospice. We would like to guide you through what is next. First, it is important that your loved one is ready to pursue hospice care. If your family is uncertain, we will meet with you one on one to discuss the benefits and steps it takes to enter into hospice care.\
Make your intentions clear and let them know how hospice services can benefit their overall well-being and condition. Inform your loved one about what hospice care truly is一a care option that centers on improving one’s quality of life. This will allow your family to focus on spending time with them and allow the attention to be where it counts the most.
If you don’t know where to begin, you can check out our blog to know when and how to talk to someone about hospice.
Start Discussion with Cardinal Hospice today
It’s hard to watch your loved one suffer from the symptoms of terminal illness. It’s vital to be strong and remain their source of strength but taking into consideration your family needs is important as well. During these trying times, we know it’s important to prioritize your loved one’s comfort and mental well being above all else and Cardinal Hospice will help your family make this a priority.
Seeking hospice care does not mean you’re giving up. It just means that you value your or your loved one’s quality of life.
If you want to learn more or are looking for the best hospice care at home in Michigan, then you’re on the right track with Cardinal Hospice.
Why Choose Cardinal Hospice?
Cardinal Hospice is one of the leading providers of hospice care in the Tri City area of Michigan. Our expert hospice team will meet with you and your family to develop a holistic care plan that will provide the best possible support and services. We prioritize comfort and care over treatment with our top trained team. We surround your family with care and support. Some of the services we provide include:
- Routine home care service
- General inpatient care
- Continuous home care
- Respite care
- Palliative care services
We can help you with every step of the way一from figuring out the right time for hospice to talking about it with your loved one through the difficult and stressful times of loss and grief.
If you want the highest quality of hospice services for your loved one, then contact us today. Let’s discuss how our individualized plan of care and services can meet the needs of your loved one.