Aging is a very difficult process to come to terms with. Many older adults seem to associate aging with illness, loss of independence, and becoming a burden on their loved ones. This is why they may not tell you how they are feeling.
It may be solely up to you to recognize the signs of your loved one’s health declining. You will also need to recognize when they need extra care. Understanding signs that your loved one may be nearing the end of their life, it is important to do as much as possible to make them comfortable.
Here are some of the most notable signs that it may be time for you to consider hospice care for your aging loved one.
Treatment is No Longer Working and/or They No Longer Desire Aggressive Intervention
If your aging loved one is dealing with a terminal illness and they favor comfort, improve quality of life, and time with loved ones, hospice care may be exactly what they need. Hospice care puts a huge focus on pain relief and symptom management as opposed to curing an illness.
Often, terminal patients will begin mentioning subtle hints to their caregivers such as:
- I’m tired
- I just want one day without pain
- I just want to be comfortable
- I want to sleep comfortably for once
- I always feel unwell
Hospice care should begin when a doctor decides that the patient’s life expectancy is around six months or less. The doctor will also be able to re-certify the patient for longer periods of time if your loved one continues to live beyond six months. Some of the common illnesses in hospice care are:
- Liver disease
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia
- Lung disease
- Kidney failure
Their Symptoms Are Becoming Harder to Manage
In the last two years of life, pain usually increases, according to research. In the last four months, it can get more serious. Uncontrolled pain can lead to many other issues including restlessness, shortness of breath, and anxiety.
It can also prolong the grieving process for loved ones. Sometimes, hospice is the only option.
How Hospice Care Helps
Hospice care can help with end-of-life care by providing:
- Bereavement counseling
- 24/7 on-call medical director and nurses
- Help with household tasks
- Assistance with daily living activities
- Medical equipment and supplies
- A safe and peaceful environment
- Relaxation and comfort with art and music
If you think that hospice care is a good move for your loved one, contact Hospice Group of Southern California today to get help.