One of the things that might be a source of concern at the end of your elderly family member’s life is when it’s the right time to think about end-of-life care options. This can feel like a really big decision that has to be timed just right in order to get your senior the best benefit.
Delayed Onset of Care Is Common
Family members and the people they care for are often uncertain about when it’s truly time to start any sort of hospice or end-of-life options for care. Delaying these types of care options is not unusual at all. Family members may want more information or your senior may not be ready just yet for a shift in care. All of that is to be expected, especially if this is the first time that your family is dealing with decisions like this.
Your Senior May Opt-in and Back Out
Something else that people often don’t realize is that their elderly family member is not locked into end-of-life care. Your senior may be at a stage at which she’s ready for the services that hospice can offer to her. Later, she might decide that she wants to try a new curative treatment again. There’s no requirement that once she makes this choice she’s locked into it no matter what.
Extended End-of-life Care Can Make a Difference
Opting into care at the end of life as early as possible does have some benefits. This type of care offers a lot more support to family caregivers and to other family members, which can help everyone to make the most of the time that is left. There are also other options that might be available for pain management and management of other symptoms which can be troubling for you and for your senior.
There’s No Right or Wrong Answer
One of the things that you and your senior might wrestle with, both individually and as a team, is whether you’re doing the right thing no matter when you’re considering this change in care. The reality is that there really is not any-one right or wrong answer. The decision hinges on your senior’s unique situation and on what she needs the most at this stage of her life.
What really matters is that your senior and you as her caregiver have the help and the assistance that you need when you need it. End-of-life care providers can connect you both with services and resources that you can use to help with practical matters as well as with emotional concerns.