When to call Hospice

Most people do not want to die alone or in pain in a sterile hospital bed, hooked up to machines and cut off from their loved ones and family.  The preference is to be at home…alert and free of pain with familiar surroundings.

Hospice is dedicated to making this happen for the patient.  Calling hospice is not about giving up…it is the opposite.  Hospice staff and volunteers help patients, family, and friends focus on what’s important to them- allowing people to spend time together, share memories, say goodbyes, find peace or care for one another.  Health care professionals agree that the time to learn about hospice is at the beginning of a life limiting disease.  This greatly reduces the stress should the time come when hospice services may be needed.  Moreover, the earlier hospice is involved, the more it can make the patient’s final weeks as comfortable and satisfying as possible.

Ideally, everyone should make their views about end-of-life care known to their families long before any illness strikes.  There are two important documents to draw up while you are healthy.  This involves completing:

  • A Living Will- written instructions of your spiritual, emotional, and medical wishes.
  • A Durable Power of Attorney- a document which authorizes a person of your choosing to make decisions for you if you become unable.

Every state has different laws regarding these important documents.  It is advisable to seek legal advice for completion.  While drawing up your documents, it may be a good time to indicate that if you are diagnosed with a life-limiting illness; your preference is to receive hospice care.




About the author

I am passionate about sharing senior citizen news and resources discovered from both my profession and personal journey.

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