When is the Right Time to Ask About Hospice?
Updated: Apr 18, 2018
Now. It is never too early to start asking questions. We often see cases where families don’t quite know what benefits they can receive with hospice services. It is best to educate yourself now instead of waiting until time is limited.
What is hospice?
The philosophy of hospice is to improve the quality of life for patients with a life limiting illness. Hospice is an option when patients and their physicians determine that future efforts to cure the illness are no longer feasible or desirable. The focus of treatment moves from curing to caring. Hospice care is provided by a specialized team addressing the medical, spiritual and emotional needs of the patient and, equally important, the family. The focus of hospice is to assure the patient is comfortable, allowing them to participate in special moments and enjoy the days ahead. Hospice is not designed to hasten death or “help” someone die, but rather to help patients live the remainder of their lives as fully as possible, on their own terms.
Hospice care can be beneficial to both the patient and the family members. Caregivers typically help take care of the patient’s physical and emotional needs. A common condition among family members acting as the caregiver is called “caregiver burnout”. This condition is caused by stress, anxiety, and sometimes depression. The caregiver role usually falls on one person in a family. They often feel guilty and go above and beyond taking care of their aging loved ones, yet forgetting to take care of themselves. Hospice provides nursing care and assistance that families need to have a better life balance. This allows the family to be the wife, brother, mother, father, son and/or daughter; instead of the caregiver.