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When is the right time for hospice care?

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A diagnosis of an advanced, life-limiting illness is devastating. Hospice care is a specialized type of care that comforts and supports patients and their families when curative treatment for advanced illness ends.   While some find relief in learning that the goal of hospice care is to manage a patient’s pain and symptoms, and provide support for the patient and family, it does not take away the anxiety and grief that comes with such a decision.

Initiating the incredibly difficult conversation about all care options as early as possible, helps patients and their families to have the best quality of life, at the end of life. Some things to consider when making the decision on when to start hospice are:

  1. Are the hospitalizations or trips to the ER increasing in frequency?
  2. Have you been contacting your physician more frequently?
  3. Have you experienced noticeable weakness, fatigue, or weight loss?
  4. Do you need help from others with bathing, getting in or out of bed, eating, dressing, walking, or communicating?
  5. Are you experiencing uncontrolled pain, shortness of breath, nausea, or vomiting?
  6. Have you fallen several times, or sustained injuries due to falls?
  7. Is there loss of bowel or bladder functions?

If you or a loved one are ready to start thinking about hospice care, the team of caregivers at Pioneer Memorial Hospice are ready to provide the support and care that you and your family deserves.

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