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When to Consider Hospice

When curative treatment is no longer an option, or when the decision is made to pursue comfort versus cure, hospice becomes the treatment of choice.  

Hospice focuses on comfort and quality of life. It utilizes a holistic approach of nursing, social work, spiritual support, personal care, life-enriching therapies and volunteers.  Hospice also provides support for loved ones and caregivers.

There are many misconceptions about hospice:  “Everyone has given up on me.”, “There are only days left of life.”, “Hospice is a place people go to die.” Hospice doesn’t hasten or postpone death. It helps make the most of the time we have. Hospice focuses on our wishes and goals. Hospice is provided wherever you call home.  

Signs that you may be ready for hospice:

• Diagnosis with a life-limiting illness and a desire to stop curative treatment
• Increasing needs for medical and personal support, and fear of burdening loved ones
• Repeated hospitalizations or trips to the emergency room
• A significant decrease in appetite and loss of weight
• An increase in pain, nausea, breathing changes, or other symptoms
• Failure to return to a prior level of well-being after health issues
• Increase in sleeping or decrease in alertness
• Lack of response or unpleasant side effects from a current treatment for a life-limiting illness

Signs that your family could benefit from hospice:

• Experiencing physical or emotional exhaustion from caring for a loved one
• Need for emotional support to help you cope with changes in your loved one
• Feeling overwhelmed by financial, legal, spiritual, future planning, and other issues that arise from the changes in your loved one
• Fear of making plans due to uncertainty about your loved one’s future

We don’t always see the subtle changes of decline.  The discussion of beginning hospice care may start with a health professional, but it doesn’t have to.  Sometimes healthcare professionals may hesitate to discuss hospice for a number of reasons: Their focus on a cure, assumption that you may not want to discuss hospice, uncertainty about the outcome of a life-limiting illness, or even a lack of knowledge about the support that hospice care can offer. 

You can be the one to start the conversation.  You don’t have to wait for a crisis or hospitalization to occur.   Hospice can provide the greatest level of support when accessed before crisis occurs.

And of course, Horizon is always available to help.  We have professionals who will talk with you and your family about challenges, goals, fears, options and assist in developing a plan…via phone or in person, in the comfort of home. 

Call Us: 414-365-8300

"With Horizon, You're Home"