Choosing to enter into hospice care, either for yourself or a family member, is an incredibly difficult conversation to have. None of us want to imagine life without our loved ones, but the time will inevitably come when a terminally ill patient will need hospice care.
There are several factors to consider when deciding if it is the right time for a loved one to go into hospice care. They are as follows:
- If medical treatments are becoming frequent and would benefit from a regular or continuous schedule
- If the non-hospice caregivers, typically family or friends, are unable to meet the medical needs of a loved one
- If a patient lives on their own and can no longer carry out regular day-to-day activities that are necessary for their well-being and comfort
Some patients may be able to live for a period of time after receiving a terminal illness diagnosis without any sort of external hospice care while others cannot. Thus, it is important to keep track of how a patient is doing and if it is realistic or reasonable for them to continue on without additional care from a hospice team.