When Hospice Becomes a Reality

Date: Jan, 13 2022

Did you recently spend time with a loved one over the holidays whose health may be declining? The holidays are a time when many people realize that family members, whom they may not have seen regularly, are having a rapid decline in their health. Now that the rush of the holidays has passed, this is an ideal time for you to start a conversation and decide – is it time for hospice? There is a great deal of uncertainty and misinformation surrounding hospice care. As a result, many families hesitate to explore the benefits of hospice with their care team. Because those with dementia and other similar conditions decline so gradually, it becomes even more difficult for family members and other medical professionals in your care team to identify when you or your loved one may benefit from hospice. 

At Adoray we recognize it can be difficult for a loved one to recognize when the time is right and how to bring up the topic when hospice becomes a reality. The key thing to remember is that the ideal time for someone to start hospice can be different for everyone. The major things you want to look out for in your loved one include:
• Major decline in health over the past six months
• Increased need for assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) including eating, walking, using the bathroom, personal cleaning, or getting dressed.
• Weight loss and decreased appetite
• Increased hospitalization or trips to the emergency room
• Focusing on quality of life, rather than aggressive life-saving medical treatment (Dialysis, Chemotherapy)

At Adoray Home Health & Hospice our goal is to educate families and partner with medical professionals to ensure they are aware of signs that it may be time for your loved one to take advantage of hospice care. If you are looking at the list above and believe you have a loved one that may be hospice appropriate – you may be wondering, how do I know they are eligible for hospice care? While a physician must make the official determination of life expectancy, anyone can make a self-referral to hospice. Please contact us at 715.629.1888 and we would be happy to walk with you through this process to determine your loved one’s eligibility. It is not necessary for you to wait for your care provider to recommend hospice. As a caregiver – you are an advocate for your loved one.
At Adoray we realize that when hospice has become a reality for your family – it can be overwhelming. Having these difficult conversations with your loved one early on will make all the difference in the end. We will work together to help get your loved one access to hospice care and an early hospice admission. Seeking hospice care earlier will add quality to the end of life through pain and symptom management. Hospice ensures that the family is kept informed and involved, and all treatment methods are focused on the patient’s comfort and dignity. At Adoray, we often hear from patients and their families, that they wish they would have come onto hospice care sooner. The sooner you come onto hospice - the more our Adoray care team can do for you and your family.

To learn more about how Adoray Home Health & Hospice can help you or a loved one, or to set up a free evaluation, contact us today at 715.629.1888 or online at www.adoray.org/refer-patient

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