When Should You Decide To Choose Hospice?

When the “H” word, hospice, is mentioned, it often brings a lot of feelings and emotions along with it. Initially, they are not always positive. They may catch people off guard and consist of overwhelming feelings of fear, thoughts of giving up, and even impending doom. Although these are genuine feelings at a time when someone is already vulnerable from having a disease and recent, often exhausting treatment, these thoughts could not be further from the truth.

To understand this, it’s essential to know what hospice is really all about. Hospice care is for those with a life-limiting illness who have made the difficult decision to focus on comfort rather than cure. It’s an empowering choice to take control of the care you receive with an emphasis on making the most of the time you have left. It addresses not only physical needs but also the emotional and spiritual needs of the patient, as well as those of their loved ones through education and support.

So, when should you decide to choose hospice? By choosing to have hospice involved earlier rather than later, patients and families can optimize their quality of life, share in critical decision-making and delivery of care, improve communication throughout the process and preserve the dignity of loved ones. Deciding to utilize hospice care significantly lessens the anxiety that comes from waiting until the last minute to seek help.

The choice to receive hospice care is up to the patient, but usually involves input from one’s physician and family members. The key to successfully managing your affairs can talk openly with others about healthcare decisions, financial and legal matters, and spirituality and counseling concerns.

For patients who are no longer receiving or seeking aggressive, curative treatment, hospice can work with your physician to provide comfort and pain management. This type of care helps patients feel better and helps families enjoy their remaining time together.

There is no doubt, choosing to accept the benefits of hospice is difficult. However, once made, the advantages usually outweigh alternative options and many wonder, “Why didn’t I call hospice sooner?” It is an empowering choice that emphasizes comfort while caring for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their loved ones who are experiencing the challenges of a life-limiting illness. If you or someone you love is interested in the comfortable, peaceful services that come along with hospice, please contact VNA, Western Pennsylvania Home Health and Hospice at (724) 282-6806.