Hospice services can make more of a difference to patient comfort and quality of life when the hospice is given more time to care for the patient and family. Many people whose family members got hospice care only for a few days before they died say later that they wished they had started earlier.
Here are some common signs that it is time to consider hospice:
- Treatments are no longer working or are causing more pain and discomfort than they seem to be worth.
- The patient has serious pain or other symptoms that are proving very difficult to manage, such as continued weight loss, severe fatigue, difficulty with daily personal care, difficulty breathing or swallowing, and continuing fluid build-up in the body.
- The patient wants to focus on the quality of their life instead of curing a disease.
- Family members are beginning to feel overwhelmed emotionally or physically by providing daily care for the loved one and unsure whether they are providing the best possible care; they would benefit from support and guidance from trained professionals.