At the end of your senior’s life or at any stage of her battle with painful illnesses you might start to wonder if it’s time for hospice care. There’s no set rule for this because the decision is one that you, your elderly family member, and her medical team will likely all make together. But knowing when it’s likely to be most helpful can make a big difference.
She’s Not Willing to Continue with Curative Treatments
Curative treatments are those that are actively trying to cure your senior of an illness. These kinds of treatments might include things like chemotherapy, radiation treatments, or even some types of medications. Curative therapies can take a lot out of your elderly family member, especially if there are serious side effects from those therapies.
Her Illness Is Projected to Shorten Her Life Span
Some illnesses are much more likely to make your senior’s life far shorter than it should be. Whether she’s dealing with cancer or COPD, your senior and her medical team may determine that having hospice care is the best way to deal with the shortened span of her life. This can give her a chance to have more control over what occurs during these final stages of her life.
She Wants to Remain at Home
The big problem with maintaining curative therapies is that they often cause your elderly family member to spend a great deal of time in hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other clinics or places in which treatments are offered. Your senior may prefer to simply spend as much of her time at home as she possibly can and hospice care can allow her to do that far more readily.
Friends and Family Are Willing and Able to Help
Another massive factor in choosing hospice care for your elderly family member is that friends and family members want to and are able to help her as much as possible. Hospice care providers are definitely a big part of the care plan, but these plans typically allow plenty of room for your senior to have a flexible arrangement so that whoever can help is able to.
Knowing when the time is right for hospice care isn’t easy at all. Work with your aging family member’s medical team and with her, if she’s able to contribute, and look at all the options that are available for her current health and her current needs.