When Is It Time for Hospice?
You may want to discuss hospice care with your physician if any or all of the following are present in your loved one:
- Progressive declining health, despite treatment
- Increased or uncontrollable pain
- Frequent hospitalizations
- Repeat or multiple infections
- Progressive or profound weakness and fatigue
- Shortness of breath with or without oxygen
- Decreased ability to perform activities of daily living
- Alterations in mental status
- Exhausted patient and family or caregivers
- The desire to stop aggressive treatments
Hospice is not about giving up. It’s about giving care. Hospice services include medications, medical supplies and equipment to manage patients’ symptoms and promote comfort. Hospice provides 24-hour-a-day support for patients and their families, as well as bereavement (grief) counseling for families and friends following the death of a loved one. Contrary to what many people think, hospice is not a physical place. It is a service that comes to wherever people live, whether that’s a hospital, an assisted living facility or a home.
At the heart of our philosophy is the belief that every person has the right to die pain free and with dignity—and that families deserve care and support as well.
What is Hospice Really?
Hospice Care is a philosophy of care, its viewpoint of which is accepting death as the final stages of life.
The goal is to enable one to continue an alert, pain-free life and to manage other symptoms so that our loved ones’ last days may be spent with dignity and quality, surrounded by families and friends. Hospice care affirms life and does not hasten or postpone death. Hospice care treats the person rather than the disease.
Hospice is holistic care that enhances this quality of life, addresses not only the physical needs of the patient and loved ones but also their physiological, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. It is designed to help individuals make the most of life’s remaining moments, as it focuses on quality rather than quantity.