You might wonder if there’s a specific sign or time that lets you know that it’s time for your elderly family member to make the move to hospice elder care. But every situation is so very different and there are variables that you might not have considered.
Your Senior’s Situation Isn’t Improving at All
Your elderly family member might not be at a point in her medical challenges where she expects a cure or a magical solution, but if she’s not improving at all she might be getting tired. It takes a lot of effort and time to try curative treatments and she might feel that energy expense isn’t worth it any longer. Some curative treatments may even be at the stage where she feels they’re more harmful than helpful. No matter what the details are, if she’s not seeing improvements she may be ready for comfort care.
She Says She’s Ready to Stay Home
Many aging adults find that in the later stages of life they spend far more time in hospitals, even on an outpatient basis, or in doctor’s offices than they do at home. This gets exhausting. This type of running around can wreak havoc on her immune system, too, making her feel as if staying home is a much better option. Hospice care can help her with situations she might be going to her doctor to deal with, which allows her to remain at home as much as possible.
She’s Slowing Down in Big Ways
Near the end of life, lots of things slow down for your senior. Her activity level is likely to be way lower than ever before and she might not be eating much, either. You might start to notice that your elderly family member is sleeping a lot more than she has been. All of these are signs that her body is slowing down and that she might be closer to the end of her life than anyone realized.
Her Medical Team Has Mentioned Hospice
At some point, your senior’s doctor may mention hospice elder care as an option. Family members are often nervous about exploring those types of options because of what that might mean overall. But hospice care can offer a level of care that curative medical treatments and caregivers alone often aren’t able to achieve. This type of care can connect you with other types of services that you need.
There’s no one right answer for everyone. You and your senior should talk about when hospice services are right for her, especially if that isn’t a talk that you’ve had just yet.