Hospice is a concept of care that focuses on quality of life for those with a life expectancy of six months or less if an illness runs its normal course. Many people are surprised to learn hospice is available for weeks and months of care, not just for the last days of life. Hospice is not intended for just the last 48 hours of life; rather, hospice care is meant to accompany and support you and your caregivers through this chapter of life.
How do you know if you or your loved one is “ready” for hospice care?
When is the right time for hospice care?
There is not always a specific point during an illness when a person should ask about hospice care. However, many professionals recommend thinking about hospice long before you’re faced with a medical crisis. Considering hospice as an option early on can help ease the decision-making process later on.
Each person and diagnosis is different, but there are general signs that may indicate an individual may meet the medical guidelines for hospice care:
- Unintentional and progressive weight loss
- A decline in the ability to perform routine daily activities, such as eating, bathing or dressing
- Frequent infections or non-healing wounds
- Frequent hospitalizations or emergency department visits
- Increased weakness and/or fatigue
- A progressive decline, even with the use of curative medical therapies
If you see these signs in yourself or your loved one, it may be time to contact Hospice of the Red River Valley for more information: (800) 237-4629.
There are many benefits to hospice care. Knowing about all the health care options available can help you have more control of your health care throughout your lifetime.