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Thursday, July 23, 2015

One of the hardest things a person will ever have to do is watch a loved one battle cancer. As a caregiver, you know that Hospice care could be a possibility at some point. This decision itself is very difficult as Hospice is usually an end of life decision. But when is it time to enter Hospice care? 

Here are three signs that it is time to enter hospice care.

Patient is beyond a cure or treatment

When the cancer has gone beyond the point of treatment, pain management may be a better option to actually treating the disease. Of course, this decision needs to be reached by you and the patient together. The patient decides to be as comfortable as possible and forego the treatment. This is a quality of life at the end of life decision for the patient.

No more testing or hospital stays

When the patient has decided to have no more tests or hospital stays. A patient who knows death is imminent does not want to die in a hospital. Any further tests or procedures that the doctor or doctors would perform are now pointless. At this point, death will come naturally and in its own time and at home where they are most comfortable. If going home is out of the question, this would be the time to consider being checked in to a facility like Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care. Facilities like this will go out of their way to make you as comfortable as possible until the end.


You’re ready to say goodbye

None of us like the idea of our loved one leaving or going away. People in general do not like separation and this can make it hard to “let go” or say goodbye. However, when you and the patient have made your peace and you accept the inevitable, this is the last hallmark before taking the final journey in your life.

Watching a loved one suffer through a debilitating illness like cancer is the hardest thing that any of us will ever have to do. You owe it to the patient to make their last days or months as bearable and pleasant as possible. Do not take the decisions all onto yourself. Include the patient and get their input. Make all decisions together.

The main thing is to help make their remaining days as comfortable and happy as possible. Keeping them in a safe and friendly environment is a key ingredient to this. Feed them their favorite foods regardless of how “bad” for them it might be. We are all more comfortable when we feel safe, secure and satisfied. The patient is also among those they love and that love them, making the transition easier.


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