When is it time for hospice care?

When you are told by a doctor that “there is nothing more we can do” or you are “not responding to treatment,” hospice care can substantially improve your outlook and your quality of life.

Here are some signs it is time for hospice care:

  • Increased pain, nausea, breathing distress, anxiety or other debilitating symptoms
  • Repeated hospitalizations or ER trips
  • Failure to “bounce back” after medical setbacks
  • Increasing assistance needed for walking, eating, bathing, dressing and/or toileting
  • Decreasing alertness, emotional withdrawal, increased sleeping, difficulty with comprehension

And, your family is:

  • Physically or emotionally exhausted due to caregiving responsibilities
  • Overwhelmed by the growing number of physical, financial, emotional and spiritual concerns because of the illness
  • Seeking better understanding of the disease process
  • In need of emotional/grief support for the whole family, including children

It is time to call hospice!

Hospice care is meant for the last six months of life; however, determining life expectancy is not an exact science and is often overestimated. Most people are surprised to learn that they can access hospice services much earlier than they thought. And, if your condition changes or you are no longer appropriate for hospice care, you can go off of it any time.

Learn more about how enrolling in a hospice program early increases quality of life for those facing a terminal illness.