End-of-life decisions have so many different facets to consider. Your senior may be worried that it’s too soon for hospice care, even if she’s leaning toward the idea for multiple reasons. Some of these conditions can help you to determine if it might be a good idea to explore hospice further.
What Does Your Senior Say?
If you’re having an inkling that it might be time for hospice care services, talk to your senior. See what she has to say about the situation. It’s entirely possible that she’s put some thought into her situation and how she’s feeling. She may not have wanted to bring it up to you, though. Together you can get more information that can help you to determine if this is the right time for hospice or not.
Pain Levels Might Dictate Some of This
You might want to consider how much pain your senior is in. If she’s finding that her pain levels are continuing to increase and it’s becoming difficult to manage or to control those pain levels, there might be options that hospice can offer that her other treatment plans can’t offer. Determine what’s working and what isn’t so that you can get a better idea how to proceed from here.
Therapies and Treatments Might not Be Working Any Longer
Other therapies and treatments besides the ones helping to deal with pain may not be working for your senior any longer. The breathing treatments for her COPD may not be helping her to breathe better. The chemotherapy may be feeling more harmful than helpful. These scenarios and others are not uncommon at all. Your senior could get to the point where the treatment feels worse to her than the illness does. She may decide it’s time to just stop for a while.
Talk to Her Doctors about Time
The other factor to consider is time. If your senior’s doctors feel that she doesn’t have very much time left, that could be a reason to enter hospice now rather than waiting. Timetables for health conditions change all of the time and if your senior is facing a prediction of little time and she’s dealing with some of these other issues, too, she may feel as if hospice care is the right answer for now.
Even if hospice is the right answer for your elderly family member right now, she may improve to the point that she’s ready to try curative therapies again. That’s always an option and something that can help her to feel comfortable with her choice.