There’s no easy or perfect way to know that it’s time for hospice treatments for your family member. The overwhelming urge as his caregiver is to keep trying everything that you can for as long as possible. But there are some circumstances in which hospice care makes sense and your family member may be nearing that point.
Your Family Member Wants to Stay at Home
At a certain stage of your family member’s life, he may decide that he no longer wants to keep going to hospitals when his health worsens or that treatments are more trouble than they’re worth. That can lead to him expressing a desire to want to stay home, instead, even during situations that would normally send him to the emergency room. Hospice care can help you to keep him comfortable during those times.
Your Family Member’s Health Isn’t Improving
Small improvements are important, but if your senior is no longer experiencing even small improvements, he may be tired of curative therapies. This is another instance in which pressing for further treatments may actually do more harm than good. If it takes more out of your family member to try for more improvement, that’s a big sign.
Some Significant Signs Are Showing Up
Some of the bigger signs that the end is coming quicker than your family member or you might expect could include a decrease in appetite or noticing that he’s sleeping more. He might be less alert overall than he has been and he can start to become steadily weaker physically. These are all signs that his situation is changing and possibly changing more quickly than you might realize at first.
Your Family Member’s Doctor Recommends Hospice Care
Your family member’s doctor is an excellent resource for this decision. You might worry that you’re making a hasty decision, but getting his doctor’s input can help to ensure that you’re doing the right thing for your family member. His doctor may even recommend hospice care long before you think it’s time for those types of care options, so it’s important to understand why that’s the recommendation that your family member is getting.
In reality, every situation is different. When it feels that it might be time to bring in hospice care, that’s something to pay attention to. Remember that your family member can always opt back out of hospice care if his circumstances change again.