When caring for a loved one, it can be hard to determine when is the right time for hospice care. Sometimes family members delay getting help that would benefit a loved one out of fear that turning to hospice care means giving up. However, hospice care is just the opposite.

Hospice care focuses on giving hospice patients the best quality life possible by meeting each patient’s physical, emotional, spiritual, and other specific needs. In fact, many caregivers quickly come to realize that hospice care is an amazingly beneficial healthcare service for both patients and their loved ones.

When it comes to deciding when to get hospice care, the best answer is “As soon as possible,” since hospice care offers many advantages for both patients and caregivers. There are several signs that can indicate it is time to begin hospice care. Keep reading to learn how to tell when it is time for hospice care.

What Is The Patient’s Life Expectancy?

A person, regardless of age, is eligible to receive hospice care after a physician certifies that the person’s current life expectancy is six months or less. If the hospice patient lives longer than six month, he or she can still be eligible for hospice care as long as their physician continues to document their eligibility.

Furthermore, since hospice care professionals specialize in end-of-life care, it’s a good idea to seek their help during the first stages of a terminal illness. This will allow hospice nurses and staff members to ease a patient’s pain and improve their quality of life as possible, for as long as possible.

If a patient has a terminal illness but is not in the final six month stage, it is possible for the patient to benefit from palliative care. Later, the patient can switch to hospice care once he or she meets the general requirements.

Are You Noticing A Decreased Quality Of Life?

Hospice workers strive to ensure each patient receives the highest quality of life as possible. This means that hospice nurses will make sure their patients aren’t suffering from any pain or distress. It also means making sure patients are able to spend time with their loved ones in a comfortable environment of their choice. The earlier a patient is able to get hospice care, the sooner the patient can get the medication, supplies, and support they need to maintain their comfort, dignity, and peace of mind.

Is There An Increase In Hospital Visits?

Frequent trips to the hospital are often a warning sign that it’s time to consider hospice care. While it’s normal for aging relatives to see the doctor more often, it’s not a good sign for someone to spend more time at the hospital than they do at home.

As mentioned earlier, hospice care specializes in improving a patient’s quality of life. This includes making sure patients are getting the care and support they need in a place where they are most comfortable. For many people, this means getting health care assistance in the privacy of their own home than in a sterilized hospital bed.

Patients who receive hospice care at home are able to focus on enjoying their remaining time with their loved ones instead of having to constantly travel back and forth between home and a hospital bed. Furthermore, patients and caregivers alike will not feel overwhelmed by hospital bills. Fortunately, most hospice care providers except many forms of insurance, including Medicare and Medi-Cal.

Are You Noticing Signs Of Caregiver Burnout?

Caring for a dying loved one is a difficult and emotional process. Caregivers can easily succumb to caregiver burnout. Especially if a caregiver is not able to get the support and assistance they need.

Caregiver burnout is a constant state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. Furthermore, caregivers can start to exhibit signs of anxiety and depression. It is not uncommon for burned out caregivers to lose their positive outlook on life and succumb to a more gloomy, downtrodden viewpoint.

Since caregivers are constantly caring for a loved one, they can find it difficult to pry themselves away long enough to attend to their own needs. This can cause damaging effects to a caregiver’s health.

Common symptoms of caregiver burnout include:

  • Lost of interest in favorite activities
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Change in appetite
  • Unusual weight loss or gain
  • Weakened immune system
  • Excessive use of alcohol
  • Dependency on sleep medications
  • Irritability
  • Feeling hopeless and/or helpless
  • Emotional, mental, and/or physical exhaustion

Thankfully, hospice care can give caregivers the much needed rest they deserve. Hospice nurses and staff members can alleviate duties the caregiver would normally be in charge of. This gives them time to take care of their own unique needs.

How Do You Begin Hospice Care?

Are you noticing any of the signs mentioned above? It may be time to get hospice care for yourself or your loved one. Do you live in Monterey County or in Hollister. If so, you are elgiable to recieve hospice care from VNA & Hospice. Their team members are available 24/7 to ensure all citizens get the quality hospice care they deserve. Simply contact VNA & Hospice at 831-375-9882 to take the first step.