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The Care Team provides hospice care as a specialized form of support for people with life-limiting illnesses or conditions. We are proud to provide this resource to patients and their families. We often act as a catalyst for renewed interactions between patient and family members, helping them make the most of their time together.

Knowing when it is the right time to consider hospice care can be a challenging decision for patients, families, and caregivers. Many of our families often say that they wish that they had engaged with The Care Team sooner because of the positive, supportive environment our team creates for patient and families.

There are important considerations and indicators that may suggest it is time to consider hospice care. We are there to make what is often a difficult process a bit easier, not only adding comfort and care, but enhancing the experience for the positive. Understanding the signs that it might be time for hospice can help ensure appropriate care and support are provided for the patient and loved ones during the final stages of life.

Declining Health Status

One of the primary indicators that it may be time for hospice care is a significant decline in the patient’s health status, such as decreased mobility, increased pain or discomfort, progressive weight loss, frequent infections, and a noticeable decline in overall physical and cognitive functioning. When curative treatment options are no longer effective or desired, hospice care can provide comfort and support for the patient and the family.

Multiple Hospitalizations and Emergency Room Visits

Frequent hospitalizations and emergency room visits can be exhausting for both patients and their families. If the patient’s condition reaches a point where hospital visits become more frequent and offer diminishing benefits, hospice care should be considered. Hospice can provide a more peaceful and supportive environment, focusing on pain management and improving the patient’s quality of life.

Prognosis of Six Months or Less

Hospice care is typically initiated when a healthcare professional determines that the patient has a prognosis of six months or less to live. This type of estimate is based on a number of factors, including the progression of the illness, medical history, and the patient’s overall health condition. However, it is important to note that patients can continue to receive hospice care beyond the initial prognosis if their condition remains consistent with the terminal diagnosis.

Increasing Need for Assistance

As an illness advances, patients often become increasingly dependent on help with daily activities, like bathing, dressing, eating, and medication management. The process can become quite draining for the patient and the family caregivers. If the patient’s needs exceed what can be managed at home or by family caregivers alone, hospice care can provide the necessary support.

The Care Team hospice professionals are trained to look at the entire patient, not just their symptoms of illness, and can address the patient’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs while providing guidance and respite for family caregivers.

Focus on Quality of Life

When the primary goal of care shifts from curative treatment to a focus on maximizing comfort and quality of life, it may be an appropriate time to consider hospice care. Hospice provides specialized palliative care, pain management, and addressing other symptoms to ensure the patient’s comfort and dignity.

The Care Team also incorporates emerging therapies that lend an extra layer of support and symptom management, including music, pet, massage, and aroma therapies, with trained and licensed clinicians in each practice area serving as integral parts of the patient-focused team. Our goal is to offer emotional and spiritual support, in addition to meeting medical needs, to enhance the patient’s and their family’s overall well-being.

Recognizing when it is time for hospice care is a crucial decision that requires careful evaluation of the patient’s medical condition, prognosis, and quality of life considerations. The signs discussed in this blog post, such as declining health status, frequent hospitalizations, a prognosis of six months or less, increasing dependency, and a shift towards focusing on comfort, can help guide individuals and their families in making informed decisions about hospice care.

The Care Team is here to provide timely and appropriate support, so that patients can receive compassionate care during their final stages of life, prioritizing their comfort and dignity. To discuss hospice care for you or someone you love, please contact us.

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833-483-2273 for Hospice Care
888-834-2672 for Home Health Care