Hospice Care is Compassionate Care.
If you are struggling with the question, “Is it time for hospice?” – you’re not alone. It’s difficult to know when to talk with a physician or loved one about requesting hospice care. Unfortunately, many patients and families wait until the final days before involving hospice. Halcyon Hospice believes it is important for patients and families to have early access to the physical, spiritual, and emotional comfort hospice provides.
When is the right time?
A person diagnosed with a terminal illness is eligible for hospice after being certified by a physician as having a life expectancy that may be six months or less, depending on the course of the disease. If a patient lives beyond six months after admission to hospice they can continue to receive services as long as a physician continues to certify the patient’s eligibility.
What if the physician hasn’t indicated the patient’s life expectancy is six months or less?
When the goal of treatment begins to shift from curing the illness to providing comfort, it is time to consider hospice. By contacting hospice early in the diagnosis, it enables the patient and family to have additional time to understand their options and choose the path that will have the most impact on quality of life.
Special needs require the services of specialists. Hospice professionals are specialists in end-of-life care, and should be called upon during the early stages of a terminal illness.
What are some indications that it is time to consider hospice?
Serious consideration should be given to hospice care when the patient:
- No longer responds as expected to curative treatments
- Expresses concern that the burden of treatment is greater than the benefits
- Complains consistently about pain or other unrelieved physical symptoms
- Shows significant, unexplained weight loss
- Experiences increasing need for assistance with activities of daily living
- Makes frequent short-term trips to the hospital and/or emergency room
- Has fallen several times over the past several months
- Has been told by a physician that life expectancy is limited
Who can request hospice?
Anyone – family member, friend, clergy, physician, can inquire about hospice services. The patient or family member may call hospice and request services. The hospice staff will then contact the patient’s physician to determine if a referral to hospice is appropriate. Another way to inquire about hospice is to talk with your physician, and he or she can make a referral to hospice. Hospice can begin as soon as a referral is made by the patient’s physician.
To help decide whether it’s time to consider hospice care, call us at 855-328-1700. We’re available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to discuss your concerns or options and provide you with the appropriate resources so you can make the right choices for you and your family.
Or, simply submit your information on our website Contact Form, indicate your preference for phone or e-mail contact, and click SUBMIT. Halcyon Hospice will take care of the rest.