3 signs it's time for hospice care

November 30, 2016 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

It’s something you never think about – don’t want to think about – until you need it.

Hospice care means the end of life is near, but it also means comfort and peace.

For people who are in the last phases of an incurable disease, hospice provides the support and care that allows them to live as comfortably as possible, pain-free and with dignity.

The process of dying is part of the normal life cycle. Hospice recognizes this, and focuses on enhancing the quality of life that remains. It doesn’t hasten or postpone death. It exists in the hope and belief that through appropriate care, individuals and their families may attain some peace in preparation for death.

There are several signs that you or a loved one is ready for hospice care:

  • A physician has certified that he/she believes the patient is within six months of death.
  • The patient’s disease has progressed to the point that there’s no cure, and you and your loved one have decided not to pursue further treatment.
  • As caregivers, you’re ready to begin to let go, say good-bye and follow the oath of hospice, which is to “neither hinder, not hasten death.”

If a patient decides to begin hospice care, Edward-Elmhurst Health can help with the transition.

We can refer families to Residential Hospice, or to another hospice provider of the patient’s choosing. Residential Hospice offers patients and families individualized care plans, developed with their physician, and carried out in familiar surroundings.

Planning ahead is always a good idea, especially when it comes to end-of-life issues. Learning about hospice care before you need it is helpful. Planning for end-of-life care when you’re young and healthy is too.

Advance directives are legal documents which allow you to make end-of-life healthcare decisions ahead of time.

Putting your advance directives in writing ensures you have control over what happens to you when you can no longer speak for yourself. It also relieves your loved ones of the burden of making difficult decisions about your care.

Get more information about both hospice care and advance directives.

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