When Should I Seek Hospice Care?

An older man in a wheelchair talks with a nurse in blue scrubs while in hospice

Hearing the news that it’s time to seek hospice care can be a hard pill to swallow. Many people believe that hospice means one is giving up or that they only have a few days to live, but this is not the case. Rather, hospice gives you the chance to make the most of your end of life care. It ensures that you do not suffer during your final days and helps limit pain.

Are you wondering if it’s time for you or a loved one to enter into hospice care? Let’s discuss some of the reasons you may enter hospice.

When is hospice care a good idea?

There are many reasons why one may choose hospice care:

  • You don’t want to go through treatment anymore. For conditions like kidney failure and cancer, life prolonging treatments can be incredibly hard on your body. While they keep you alive, some may choose not to go through treatment anymore and let the disease progress naturally. Hospice care allows you to treat your symptoms without treating the actual disease, helping you to be as comfortable as possible.
  • You want your life to end on your terms. For those who are uncomfortable with the idea of dying in a hospital, hospice can help. In hospice, you can be certain that you will not pass alone, nor will you be in an unnatural, unfamiliar environment.
  • You have six months or less to live. Hospice is intended for those who are going to live for six months or less as determined by their physician. It’s better to start hospice care sooner rather than later so you can get the most out of your last days. That being said, even if you have been given a shorter prognosis, you can still benefit from hospice care.
  • Your symptoms are becoming worse. Symptoms like shortness of breath or difficulty moving can be challenging, and many will want immediate relief. Unless you are constantly in a hospital bed, it may be difficult to treat these symptoms. Hospice care provides pain management services and additional symptom treatment without life prolonging treatment.
  • You need a lot more help than usual. As you get closer to the end of your life, you may realize that you need a lot more help than usual to deal with everyday tasks like changing your clothes, eating and maneuvering around your home. Hospice can help you to complete these activities of daily living without compromising your freedom.

What you need to know about hospice

It’s one thing to decide that it’s time for hospice, but there’s probably more that you want to know about hospice. Let’s answer some of your most common questions.

Who decides when I can go to hospice?

Usually, a physician will refer you after you have been given a prognosis of six months or less to live. Once this is determined, you can be suggested for hospice care.

Why would I want to go to hospice?

Hospice care is a great way to get the most out of your final season of life. You can have the freedom to choose what happens to you, giving you a sense of dignity about your end of life care. It also helps give your family a plan for what to do following your passing.

What if I live longer than six months?

It is possible that you will live longer than six months, as sometimes conditions develop differently than anticipated. If your condition improves significantly, you may no longer be eligible for hospice. If your condition continues to diminish, you may stay in hospice care.

Is it too late to start hospice?

It’s never too late to enter hospice care. Even if your prognosis is poor, you may still benefit from spending your final days somewhere safe and familiar.

Are you ready to seek hospice care?

Contact Seasons Hospice of Tulsa. We are here to make your last days safe, pain free, and surrounded by those who care about you.

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Seasons Hospice is an independent community health care provider, not a large for-profit organization. We would not be able to offer our hospice services if we did not have the support of passionate community members who understand the importance of cost-free hospice care. To simplify the hospice process for patients and families, we rely on the generosity of our donors.