Deciding that it’s time for hospice care can be challenging for the patient and for their loved ones. At Shining Light Hospice, we understand the concerns, and we want to help ease your anxiety about whether hospice is the right choice.
There is often confusion about when a patient is eligible for hospice care. Typically, hospice care is considered when medical treatments and interventions have become ineffective. To avoid prolonging suffering and to maximize the patient’s quality of life to the greatest extent possible, the patient’s care is transitioned from disease specialists and surgeons to the hospice team. Trained to provide comfort care, pain relief, and end-of-life support, this team works closely with the patient and their loved ones in the final stages of life.
Is It Time to Start Hospice Care Planning?
Hospice care planning is best started early to give the patient as much say in these critical decisions as possible. Imagine having six months or more of pain-free, comfortable life during which to say goodbye, and find emotional and spiritual support.
The Hospice Foundation of America says,The most common comment that HFA hears from patients and families is that they wish they had experienced hospice care earlier in the illness.
Many patients or family members assume that hospice care is only important during the final few hours, but patients can benefit greatly with more time in hospice care. In fact, contrary to common assumptions, many hospice patients have six months or more remaining. We support patients and their loved ones throughout, providing relief from the endless hospital trips, the back and forth between doctors, the stress, and the exhaustion.
At Shining Light Hospice Care, we strive to help our patients enjoy their time, interact with family and friends, and do it all with alertness and focus. Hospice care can deliver many important benefits, including physical, mental, emotional, and social support.
However, coordinating hospice services takes time, so it is important to start planning early. This can give the patient as much say in these critical decisions as possible.
What If a Patient Cannot Participate in Planning?
If the patient is no longer able to participate, the family will need to discuss treatment options and other details. This is an emotional situation that can be fraught with stress and emotion, frustration, and even anger.
Because of this, we strongly recommend having an advance directive in place before the patient is no longer able to make their own decisions.
At Shining Light Hospice Care, we work with patients and families to help ensure all plans and treatments are in the patient’s best interests.
Educating Patients and Family Members
Shining Light Hospice Care was founded out of compassion and deep personal experience with end-of-life suffering. We believe it’s important that patients and family members are all educated about what to expect during this time, as well as the details about hospice care. Our team can answer questions from patients and family members but will also offer additional resources for research and exploration. Our goal is always to help you make an informed decision about care.
Unsure where to go now? Not quite certain what comes next? We can help. Contact us today or read End-of-Life Planning: A Guide for Hospice Patients and Family Members.