Hospice care for a loved one (a parent, a grandparent, an elderly aunt or uncle, etc.) is a difficult topic to think about.
Nobody wants to think about the fact that someone they love may be reaching the final stages of life.
It’s tough. There are no two ways about it.
With that being said, the whole goal of hospice is really to increase the quality of life—making it as great as possible in the final chapter of a person’s lifespan.
Modern hospice care actually has a lot to offer. In fact, Generation Hospice Care describes it rather well:
“The idea of hospice care has been around for centuries, but today’s modern technology, coupled with a multifaceted approach that includes skilled professionals, crisis care, family support and transitional support provides a full spectrum of services for loved ones and their families.”
But how will you know when it’s time to consider this option?
This can be a tough call to make. And honestly, it’s not an easy thing to consider or think about.
So in this blog post, you’re going to learn about 7 signs to watch for.
Seeing one or more of these signs may be an indication that it’s time to start thinking about end-of-life care.
You may not like it—but there’ll likely come a time when you’ll need to think about this stuff.
Let’s dive into it.
They Require Frequent Emergency Room Trips
Has life been punctuated by frequent trips to the emergency room for various different reasons?
If so, it’s likely true that your loved ones need a bit more assistance and aid than they’re able to receive at home—and hospice could be the perfect solution to this.
They’re Losing A Lot Of Weight
If your loved one is starting to turn away food, and/or if their eating habits are starting to dwindle along with their body weight—this is a sign that it’s probably time to start thinking about hospice care.
This can be a difficult thing to address and acknowledge. But it’s a fact of life. And at some point, we all need to face it.
Infections Are Becoming More Frequent
As people age, they become more susceptible to infections.
This can have a debilitating affect on overall health and wellness—and can definitely be a sign that it’s time to utilize more full-time professional medical help.
They’re Not As Alert As They Used To Be
It’s sometimes difficult to watch as your loved ones get less ‘mentally sharp and alert’ as they grow older.
But the fact of the matter is that the brain ages as well. And at a certain point, it’s going to be more convenient, more dignified, and just overall safer to get them into hospice care—so that they can enjoy a high standard of living in this final chapter of life.
They’re More Withdrawn
If you notice that your loved one is becoming more isolated and withdrawn—that could be a sign that it’s time for professional help.
Has communication become difficult? Has it gotten challenging to have productive conversations about important day-to-day matters?
If so, ask your primary care physician if it may be time to think about hospice care.
They’re Unable To Perform Basic Daily Tasks
If getting around the house, eating, keeping things tidy, using the restroom, and getting dressed are becoming more and more challenging and difficult for them to accomplish, then you’re likely looking at a situation where they really need round-the-clock care to help them stay safe and maintain their dignity.
Once again, this can be a difficult thing to watch. But it’s really important to try to think about it from a rational perspective.
You’re More Interested In Maintaining A High Quality Of Life, As Opposed To Aggressive Medical Treatments
Sometimes, you need to choose between maintaining a better quality of life until the end, and using aggressive medical treatment to treat whatever illnesses and ailments are affecting their health and wellbeing.
If you’re starting to think that aggressive, invasive medical treatments will just do more harm than good—and if you think it’s time to just let them rest and enjoy the rest of their days—then hospice care is probably an excellent step to consider.
No matter how you slice it, this is a difficult thing to consider and contemplate.
But the truth of the matter is that dignified end-of-life care matters—for many reasons.
Your loved ones will be trusting and depending on you to make the proper decisions regarding end-of-life care.
So do your best to make the right call.
And if you need some help, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Speaking with your doctor can probably yield more useful information that’ll help you to make a productive, positive choice.
It’s a big responsibility.
But you can do it.
Now get out there and make it happen.