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8 Signs It May Be Time for Hospice Care

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loved one places hands on patient's heart while considering the signs it may be time for hospice care

Many people assume they’ll always have a little more time with aging parents or grandparents. Even when loved ones are in the late stage of a severe illness, medical treatments may offer hope for longer life. But medicine can only take this so far.

There are signs it’s time for hospice care to look out for in loved ones. If your loved one is experiencing some of the following symptoms, it may be beneficial for you to start considering hospice care. Contact us at 833.380.9583 to learn about Compassus’s end-of-life care options and how we support our patients.

Eight Signs It’s Time for Hospice Care

While it’s difficult to know the exact right decisions for your loved ones during their end-of-life process, certain signs and conditions can point you toward the need for hospice care. These include the following:

  1. The rapid decline in health over the past six months, despite aggressive medical treatments
  2. Inability to perform daily living tasks
  3. Frequent hospitalizations or trips to the ER
  4. The inability of the familial and medical teams to care for the patient
  5. Mental signs such as decreasing alertness, withdrawal, increased sleeping, or mental confusion
  6. Physical symptoms such as less desire to eat, significant weight loss, and body changes
  7. Signs of increasing illness such as uncontrolled pain, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and frequent or recurring infections
  8. Deciding to focus on the quality of life rather than continued aggressive treatments

These are just some signs it’s time for hospice care, although your loved one’s care team will be able to tell you more about when hospice is recommended and when to go into hospice. Each person is an individual; some may think certain signs are more important than others.

When Is Hospice Recommended: Quality of Life

Patients often say the quality of life is more important than how long they live. An essential first step is having transparent and honest conversations about the kind of care you want. Talk to your family, your doctor, and others you trust. Comfort care does not mean you’re giving up. It is support centered on your needs so you can focus on having the best quality of life possible.

Making medical decisions during times of urgent need can be stressful. Try to find some quiet time to consider your needs and goals before conditions become urgent. When you better understand your own priorities, you can be bold about sharing those with healthcare providers. 

How Long Does Hospice Care Last?

No one person’s journey through end-of-life care is the same. It’s important to discuss your priorities with your loved ones and care team. 

Starting, Stopping, or Transferring Care

No one wants hospice too early. Remember that you can end hospice and restart curative care at any time. People also have the option to transfer to a new care provider. 

Palliative Care Options

Palliative care is an option for those seeking to reduce the symptoms, side effects, and anxiety of a severe illness. Patients are not required to forego medical treatments to cure their condition. They receive care to reduce pain and other symptoms and the medical treatments’ sometimes debilitating side effects.

Palliative care often includes goals of care conversations and advanced care planning to provide a roadmap for future healthcare decision-making that can reduce stress on patients and family members.

All locations at Compassus are licensed in their state and certified by Medicare, VA Tricare, and Medicaid. 

Starting Hospice or Palliative Care

If you have an immediate need, go to our location finder to find the phone number for the local office. Complete a referral. Anyone can make a referral. Our admissions coordinator will promptly contact all responsible parties to plan consultations or patient assessments.

Contact Compassus Today for Compassionate Hospice Care

Our admission team works directly with families and healthcare professionals on a personal care plan. We bring hospice care to wherever the patient calls home, whether in a private home, nursing home, or long-term care community. Contact us at 833.380.9583 to learn more.