There’s no easy way to know for sure when it’s time for your elderly family member to move from the types of care she’s receiving now to hospice care. The key is knowing what your senior wants and finding the tools that support her in meeting those needs.
Understanding What Hospice Care Is
Hospice is often misunderstood, even after having been an option for a very long time. The misconception typically lies in the qualifications for hospice, which include a life expectancy of six or fewer months. Hospice care can be extended, which is sometimes a surprise to family members. Also, hospice care does not mean that your senior is tucked away and ignored. She has many services available to her, but what she’s opting out of are curative therapies, like chemo.
Talk to Your Senior’s Doctor
If you’re wondering at all about hospice and how it might factor into your senior’s care plan, talk to her doctor. Let her doctor know that you’re concerned about when it’s time to move to hospice care and what you can do to determine when it’s right. Her doctor can give you some specific information that relates directly to her health and her current and future needs.
Ask Yourself What Your Senior Needs and Wants Right Now
Hopefully, you and your senior have already had a chance to talk about what she wants during this stage of her life. But if you haven’t, there may still be time. If your senior can still communicate with you and share her wants and needs, then set aside some time to talk with her about how she wants to experience this stage of her life. Hospice care has options that can help her to achieve those goals.
This Type of Care Is about Peace and Offering Loving Care
Hospice care is about helping your elderly family member to be as comfortable as she can be. That means that pain isn’t ignored but is treated through a variety of different treatment options. Your senior may not need or want certain therapies, and that’s all fine, too. It’s about helping her and you to have what you need in order to care for her during this stage of her life.
There is no one right answer about timing and hospice care services. What’s most important is that you know you’re doing the best that you can for your senior to meet her needs at that time.