Receiving a serious or terminal diagnosis could indicate that hospice care is needed in the future. It’s important to know that hospice care is not synonymous with dying. With a terminal diagnosis, death may not occur for months or even years.
The diagnosis of a chronic illness can be devastating to a family, bringing on stages of grief and unimaginable pain. Hospice care is a specialized type of treatment for patients that are entering the final stages of their life and is generally reserved for individuals with less than 6 months to live. With a hospice plan in place, patients are able to have more control over the way their final months of life are spent -- often choosing to live at home to enjoy the time that they have left with friends and family.
Letting your loved ones know that you are thinking about them and care about their needs doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive. Instead, you can create a thoughtful hospice care kit that includes some of the everyday conveniences and comforts that they may not have easy access to while in hospice care.
When a doctor recognizes that treatment should evolve into comfort and caring for a patient’s end of life, they will recommend hospice care. Your doctor and other caregivers are important members of your hospice care team.