Eventually, many people diagnosed with a terminal illness must transition to hospice care to ensure their final days are spent as comfortably as possible. Although it’s difficult to cope after a parent or grandparent’s terminal diagnosis, it’s important to make a hospice care plan early to make the best decision with your loved one.
Plan Ahead Now
It’s hard to have this talk, but it’s important to talk about hospice with your loved one and his or her caregivers early on. This doesn’t mean that death is coming soon or that nothing else can be done. By the time they need hospice care, they may not be in a state of mind to express what they want. Having these tough conversations early helps everyone understand what your loved one wants for end-of-life care. This can make the transition to hospice as seamless as possible.
Talk About Their Wants
This conversation is all about what your parent or grandparent wants in his or her final days. The first thing to discuss is where they want to receive care: at home, in a nursing home, or at an inpatient facility. Discuss what would make them comfortable and how they would prefer to manage pain. For cancer patients, discuss when it’s time to discontinue chemotherapy or radiation and transition into palliative care. Based on these conversations, you’ll be able to choose a hospice care provider that meets your loved one’s needs.
Prepare for Arguments Against Hospice
When multiple caregivers are involved, you’re likely to encounter resistance about hospice. Some folks will argue that the family can care for the patient on their own; after all, it’s difficult to entrust someone new with your parent’s care. But hospice caregivers and medical staff are highly trained to keep your loved one safe and comfortable. Others will argue that it’s too early for hospice care, but many families end up saying they wish they had started hospice sooner. Others simply have misconceptions about hospice: they think Mom will have to stop all her other medications, or that transitioning to hospice means they’ve given up on Dad. Clearing up some of these concerns and misconceptions can help your parent or grandparent live more comfortably in their final days.
Learn More About Hospice Today
A conversation about hospice can be emotional, but Arkansas Valley Hospice wants to arm you with information to have this difficult talk with your family. We offer hospice, palliative, and respite services to help your family during the final stages of your loved one’s life. We are happy to speak with you about how our services can benefit your family. Reach out to us or call us at (719) 384-8827 to learn more.