5 Signs That It Might Be Time for Hospice

Making the many decisions that come with end-of-life care for anyone facing a terminal illness, and their loved ones, is challenging. This affects not just the patient’s well-being and comfort, but that of their family and friends. While medical treatments may provide hope for longer life, medicine can only go so far.

Hospice care in Northern VA or wherever you reside can help you embrace the end of life process and focus on enjoying the highest possible quality of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 4,300 hospice care agencies in the U.S., with about 1.4 million patients taking advantage of these services annually. 

While few want to think about their own death or the loss of someone they love, many families put off discussions about care at the end of life. But if you’re asking yourself if it’s time to consider hospice, there is a good chance this additional cushion of uniquely specialized care and support can help. As terminal diseases vary so greatly, it’s best to consider the signs indicating that hospice care is likely needed.

Frequent, Worsening Pain 

One of the biggest benefits of hospice care is that it aims to lessen pain while improving the quality of life. When one can no longer manage their pain with normal treatments, it may be time to consider hospice. Medication is an essential part of hospice pain management, including the use of opioids which block the feeling of pain, such as morphine, methadone, oxycodone, and hydromorphone. The hospice care team can frequently access the need to initiate and continue them to control pain, the risks, and harms, the various types, dosage, and the duration. 

Suffering from Emotional Pain

In addition to managing physical pain, hospice pain management includes emotional and spiritual pain. Physical pain often works hand-in-hand with emotional pain like anxiety. At the same time, with increasing pain, anxiety increases, which increases the response to physical pain. Emotional pain can be relieved through counseling, chaplain, social worker visits, and medications like valium, which treats anxiety and agitation. 

Frequent Infections

When a patient develops frequent infections, it’s often a sign that the immune system is struggling to do its job. Patients who are terminally ill are very susceptible to infections due to disease-related processes or therapies that have been induced. As the patients are already subject to multiple symptoms and distress, infection increases the burden of symptoms, further reducing the quality of life. 

Dramatic Weight Loss and Loss of Appetite

When a patient no longer has the desire to eat, it can signal that the body is starting the process of shutting down. This is a sign that it’s time to focus on comfort while allowing family and friends to spend time with the patient. Dramatic weight loss often comes as a result of decreased appetite.

Frequent ER Visits

When a patient is making frequent trips to the emergency room and spending most of their time in the hospital, it may be a sign that hospice would be more appropriate.

1 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Post-Acute Care: Benefits & Choosing the Right Care Provider - Alternative Medicine Magazine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.