10 Signs Your Aging Parents or a Loved One Needs Hospice Care
Where did Hospice Care Start?
Compared to many other types of medical care, hospice care is still in its early stages. The first hospice opened in London in 1967, and the first one in the United States didn’t open until 1974.
But since then, many American families have become more interested in hospice care. Every year, more than 1.5 million people use hospice services, and more than 40% of people who die in the U.S. do so while they are in a hospice care program for a better end of life experience.
So, What Does Hospice Care Mean?
Hospice care is different from other types of medical care because it focuses on taking care of a person with a terminal illness and increasing their quality of life instead of trying to cure them.
Centric Hospice workers focus on providing pain relief with emotional and mental support during their patients’ last months, weeks, and days.
How Do You Know When It’s Time To Send Someone To Hospice?
1. Treatments aren’t working and/or they don’t want to continue treatment.
Hospice care may be the answer if your elderly parents or a loved one has a terminal illness and wants to be comfortable, spend time with family, and have a better quality of life.
Hospice care focuses on getting rid of pain and other symptoms instead of curing the illness.
Hospice care can start when a doctor says that the patient has less than six months to live if the illness continues.
If your loved one lives longer than six months, the doctor can recertify the person for longer periods. For people who qualify, hospice care is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans.
Some of the most common diseases for which hospice care is needed are:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia
- Disease of the Liver
- Kidney failure
- ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
2. It’s getting harder to deal with their symptoms.
Pain may get worse in the last months of life, according to research. Pain that is not under control can cause other problems, such as shortness of breath, restlessness, mood changes dues to discomfort, depression, and anxiety. Not addressing these concerns can create unnecessary pain for the patient and the family.
3. They’re going to the hospital or doctor more often.
Be aware if a loved one is requiring hospital or doctor visits more frequently. This can be a sign of a deteriorating health condition that may need some attention. Finding out whether Home Health or Hospice services are needed for your specific situation may help to decrease the number of hospital visits needed.
4. They need much more aid now.
Your parents or another loved one may not be able to do things themselves like bathing, getting dressed, or eating as well as they used to. Maybe they used to be able to get around on their own, but now they need a wheelchair or walker. In this case, you can take advantage of services like hospice care at home for patients with a terminal illness, getting the aid they need now.
5. They seem confused or restless a lot of the time.
At the end of life, a person may feel confused, upset, or even angry at times. They might not be sure where they are or what is going on around them.
Some people see things that aren’t there (hallucinations) or think they are much stronger than they really are (delusions) or that people are out to hurt them. If you or anyone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact your primary care physician and discuss these with them.
6. They’re less able to talk to each other.
Speaking and the ability to follow conversations may be affected by things like poor circulation, hearing and vision problems, and other health problems. Because of this, they might start to pull away from the things and people they love.
7. They don’t have much of an appetite or seem to be losing weight for no reason.
Check the fridge and watch what they eat to figure out how much and what they eat. If they have less of an appetite or lose weight for no clear reason, it could be a sign that their body is slowing down or not digesting food properly.
8. They spend most of their time sleeping.
As a way for the body to slow down, people near the end of their lives may sleep more. You might notice that they spend most of the day sitting or sleeping.
9. They have infections that keep coming back.
When a disease gets worse, symptoms often get worse too. Infections like pneumonia, sepsis, or urinary tract infections can come back more often or you might notice that they’re getting sick more often.
10. As a caregiver, you feel stressed out and overwhelmed.
As your parents or a loved one gets older and needs more help, your stress level may increase. It’s a sign of love to admit you need help as a caregiver and use all the tools you have to give your loved ones the best care possible.
How Hospice Care Can Help?
When people wait until their last few days or weeks to get hospice care, they don’t get the most out of it. Hospice care at the end of life can include:
- a medical director and nurses on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, that can visit patients at home.
- medical equipment and supplies
- treatment of symptoms and comfort
- a safe, peaceful environment
- music, art, and other things that can help them calm down and feel better.
- a chaplain that can help with spiritual needs.
- a hospice aide that helps with daily tasks like bathing, so family members can spend more quality time with their loved ones.
- a social worker that can help with grief and find resources in the community.
- hospice volunteers that can help with chores around the house.
- counseling to help those who have lost someone deal with their grief
Why Should You Choose Centric Home Health and Hospice For Palliative And Hospice Care?
At Centric Home Health and Hospice located in Plano, TX, we believe that everyone should have easy access to high-quality medical care.
Our teams including nurses, aides, medical specialists and other support staff will listen and work with you to make sure your goals are being worked towards.
We think that the most important things are your health and the health of your family. Our doctors, nurses, and other staff members work hard to make sure our patients get good care and are healthy and happy.
If you are interested in finding out more about hospice care, please don’t hesitate to contact us today at 1.855.942.3687