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Is My Loved One Ready For Hospice?

a graphic showing that typically, two doctors must agree on a prognosis of 6 months or less in order for a patient to be considered for hospice

Whether for ourselves or our loved ones, we don’t often like to think about growing old. But the reality is that at a certain point, you may need to start discussing the idea of hospice care for someone you love.

You may think that their doctor will talk to you when hospice care services are necessary and recommended, but this may not always be the case. If you’re wondering whether your loved one might be ready for this final stage in life, you’ll want access to the best services for hospice Seattle has to offer. But before you can decide on a hospice care facility or in-home hospice, you need to determine whether it’s the right choice for your loved one. It’s important to ask yourself the following questions about your loved one’s current condition to decide whether he or she is ready for hospice care.

Have doctors given a prognosis?

Typically, two doctors must agree on a prognosis of six months or less in order for a patient to be considered for hospice care. If the disease were to run its natural course without any treatment or there is no cure, it might be time to consider hospice for your loved one’s comfort.

Is your loved one unwilling or unable to seek treatment?

At a certain point, your loved one may not want to pursue curative treatment for one reason or another. If a treatment is no longer working or a patient has stopped asking for it, hospice care can be a much better alternative to long-term hospitalization. Usually, your loved one would rather opt for comfort and a better quality of life in lieu of painful or ineffective treatments in a stressful hospital environment.

Is your loved one experiencing these symptoms?

If your loved one is experiencing uncontrollable or increasing levels of pain, weight loss, a decreased ability to perform daily living activities, frequent infections and hospitalizations, fatigue and weakness, skin issues, confusion, general decline, or is bedridden, a hospice care facility may be the best option to ease their discomfort.

Is your loved one in the advanced stages of any of these conditions?

Although there are many diseases that progress to the point of necessary hospice care, there are certain conditions that are more likely to result in making a choice for hospice. Cancer is one of the most common, but the other top diagnoses for hospice admittance are dementia (14.8%), heart disease (14.7%), lung disease (9.3%), and stroke or coma (6.4%). Other conditions may include pulmonary disease, ALS (often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease), Parkinson’s, and many other age-related diseases. Note that having one of these conditions is not a definitive reason to pursue hospice care, and having a condition that isn’t listed should not be a deterrent to it.

Does your loved one seem ready?

If your loved one is in a state of mind to give insight on their current condition, you should find out what he or she wants. They may be ready to opt for care through the best hospice Seattle can provide. Even if your loved one was eager for treatment earlier on, their feelings may very well have changed as their condition worsened. Above all, if your loved one is at peace and just wants to have pain managed in comfort, he or she may be ready.

To find out more about the services we provide — which includes a hospice Seattle families can rely on, as well as in home care for seniors — please contact us today. We can help to make this difficult transition easier for you and your family.

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