Deciding when to put someone in hospice care can be a difficult decision. Still, it is generally recommended when a person has a life-limiting illness and no longer seeks curative treatment. Hospice care is focused on providing comfort care and symptom management rather than corrective care. It is typically recommended when the patient’s condition has progressed to a point where curative treatment is no longer effective or desired.
Some common signs that a person may be appropriate for hospice care include:
- A decline in overall health or functional status
- Frequent hospitalizations or emergency room visits
- Uncontrolled pain or other symptoms
- Decreased appetite or difficulty eating or swallowing
- Increased fatigue or weakness
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- A desire to remain at home or in a familiar environment
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms or are living with a life-limiting illness, it may be time to discuss hospice care options with a healthcare provider. Hospice care can provide valuable support and comfort during the end-of-life journey and can help ensure that the patient’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are met during this difficult time.