We spend so much of our life preparing and planning—so why should it be any different when making a hospice decision? Ideally, from the start of a diagnosis of a life-limiting illness, people should begin planning their goals and priorities with their physician. By having these conversations early, the person with a life-limiting illness can be fully involved in planning and making decisions regarding their wishes before the stress of a medical crisis.
Hospice is a continuation of care that shifts the goals of the patient from curative to comfort.
When you or a loved one has a life-limiting illness and medical treatment is no longer effective, the doctor may refer you to hospice care. It should not be seen as a last resort but rather as an opportunity to focus on managing pain and other symptoms to find relief. This approach lets you dedicate your attention to what truly matters: living the rest of your life to the fullest.
A study by the National Palliative Care Organization found that patients who spent their final days on hospice reported having a better life experience than those who spent the end of their lives in intensive care. The researchers found that the patient’s choices often influenced the end-of-life care they got, which is why it is so important for people to plan for hospice, long before the need arises.
So, when should you make the hospice decision?
Talk to your physician about signs and symptoms to consider prior to electing hospice care. Frequent hospitalizations, frequent infections, a decline in functional status, and an increase in uncontrollable symptoms or pain can all be indicators. Decide what you wish to do when treatment is no longer effective.
Consider the benefits of managing symptoms from home rather than frequent visits to the physician or hospital. Consider the benefit of having a team of specialists available to you in your home—from a registered nurse to an aide, your doctor, a medical director, a social worker, and a chaplain. With SUPERIOR Hospice Care you have access to our hospice team by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, where you could call our team if you had a question or a medical need.
SUPERIOR Hospice Care is committed to providing compassionate care in partnership with our patients and their loved ones. We believe it is a privilege to be a part of the end of life process and a gift to be able to share the experience with our patients and their loved ones. We want to be there for you.