Managing your loved one’s End of Life care is never easy. If you’re considering hospice, it’s important to know when and how to begin the process to ensure the most comfortable, compassionate care experience possible.
Hospice is appropriate for anyone at any age suffering from a life-threatening condition. Most often, a physician has estimated a prognosis of six months or less.
Many people are understandably uncomfortable shifting the focus from curative measures to improving the quality of remaining life. Be sure to talk with your healthcare and hospice providers as openly as you can about your loved one’s concerns, options and goals.
Hospice is most helpful if it is engaged soon after a physician’s referral, when there is adequate time to care for the unique needs of your loved one. This process requires trust, sensitivity and time.
Some people engage hospice when treatment is no longer an option, yet symptoms aren’t fully developed. This allows your loved one to benefit most from hospice, especially to improve the quality of their remaining life.
Hospice can begin once a physician makes a referral. You can request that your loved one’s physician make a hospice referral any time.
Once you choose a hospice program, you’ll need to formally enroll your loved one in it. The first step is to setup an initial assessment of the patient’s needs.