Throughout the time that your senior has battled COPD she likely had stretches of time when she was able to experience a bit of calm with this unpredictable disease. But COPD is progressive and while it might slow down, it doesn’t stop. At some point, hospice care might be something to consider.
Techniques Learned at Pulmonary Rehab Aren’t Working
Pulmonary rehabilitation teaches your senior, and by extension you, an awful lot about how to help her to breathe, how to conserve her energy, and how to deal with exacerbations. Eventually, though, the things that your senior learns through pulmonary rehab just are not going to be effective. That’s because COPD is a progressive disease and it will continue to get more severe.
Your Senior’s Energy Levels Are Consistently Declining
Just breathing takes a lot more energy than most people realize. As your senior’s COPD becomes more pronounced, she’s going to find that she’s exhausted far more often than she ever has been in the past. Periods of rest become longer and have much shorter periods of activity in between.
Your Senior Is Spending a Lot of Time at the Hospital or the ER
COPD can cause your senior to experience diminished health overall, including lung infections and other ailments that make breathing even more difficult. Very often people with COPD end up in the hospital or the emergency room because of their difficulty breathing or due to illnesses related to COPD. As your senior progresses through the stages of COPD, those visits become far more frequent. At some point, your elderly family member may determine that she no longer wants to make those trips, preferring instead to get whatever treatments she can at home.
Your Senior’s Doctor Recommends Hospice
Your elderly family member’s doctor or pulmonologist may at some point recommend hospice care to your senior. This is often a suggestion made in an effort to spare your senior the hassles of seeking curative treatments, spending time in doctor’s offices and hospitals, and to allow her to rest as much as she can. Hospice can be a way for your senior to enjoy the time that she has left in whatever way she’s able to do so.
There are no right or wrong answers with hospice. It’s important to take a look at what benefits hospice can add to your senior’s life and to her care and then make a decision accordingly.