Friday, May 2, 2014

When is it time for hospice care?

A common question asked by those considering hospice care for a loved one is, “When is the right time?”

Many families who chose hospice care for the loved one have later said, “We wish we had come to hospice earlier.” It would have been better for the loved one - having more compassionate and comprehensive care during their illness, and it would have given the family greater peace of mind.

Of course, it can be a very difficult decision to make. No one wants to feel as if they are “giving up” on someone they love. Even for physicians, trained to heal, it is not easy to say, “There is nothing more I can do.” Fortunately, it's not a decision you have to make alone.

A referral for hospice means that something can be done: the patient who cannot be cured can be comforted - physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Last year, more than a million Americans received hospice care. But we know that for every person who received care, another person could have also benefited from this exceptional type of care - but did not.

A person is eligible for hospice after being certified by a physician as having a serious illness with a life expectancy that may be six months or less, depending on the course of the disease.

Anyone - family member, friend, physician, can refer someone to hospice. Many patients are referred by a health care professional, but others were first referred by a friend or loved one.

If you are wondering if it's the right time for hospice care, ask for a free consultation. Our staff can provide guidance after learning more about your unique circumstances, needs and goals. We are always available to answer your questions. Please call Hope at (239) 482-4673 or (800) 835-1673.