6 Signs You Are Not Ready for Hospice Care
Hospice care can help you live out the last days of your life with relative comfort and dignity. When the time comes for hospice care, it can make the difference between having more time with the ones you love and having that precious time cut short. Whether to enter hospice care or not is a huge decision you must make. Hospice care can enhance your final days when initiated at the right time, but it could unnecessarily constrain you and potentially hasten your demise when initiated prematurely. It is essential that you consider your late life health care options carefully to determine when you are ready for hospice care. You should not wait until it is time for hospice care to start learning and inquiring about it. By looking into hospice care well in advance of your need for it, you will approach it from a more informed and prepared position. When you do consider hospice care, note there are several options. You can receive in-home hospice care part-time from a visiting hospice nurse, or you can enter full-time residential hospice care. Consider your own situation and the advantages and disadvantages of both types of care. For example, you may start with the former care type and transition to the latter when it is the right time. In the meantime, review these six signs that you are not quite ready for hospice care.
There Are Avenues You Have Not Explored
More often than not, hospice is a last-resort option. If there are any avenues you have not yet explored, you are not ready for hospice care until you have explored and exhausted those other potential options. If you feel that in-home care will suffice for now, you have the ability to move in with a family member for the time being or you simply need surgery or a brief spell in the hospital to resolve a particular problem, you may not be ready for hospice care. If you feel you will be able to return home and resume life as normal after completing medical treatment, you do not need hospice care. However, if you have explored all your options for getting better and nothing has worked, then it may be time to consider hospice care.
You Are Currently Undergoing Treatment
If you are still undergoing treatment for a medical problem, you are not yet eligible for hospice care. To meet eligibility for hospice care, you cannot be currently undergoing any medical treatment whatsoever. Hospice care is not geared toward “getting better” but, rather, toward managing pain, providing comfort and offering support to you and your family. When the burdens of your symptoms outweigh the potential benefits of treatment, you may be ready for hospice care.
There May Be a Cure
If you are not undergoing treatment just yet, but, according to your doctors or personal research, a potential cure for your condition may still exist, you should not enter hospice care. In this case, it is worth checking out this option before resolving yourself to hospice care. Remember, once you are in hospice care, the possibility of exploring a cure while in hospice is no longer an option. Make sure no such possibility exists before you completely eliminate your opportunity to pursue such an option. If you find that no cure for your condition exists, you may consider hospice care without wondering if you are denying yourself the possibility of getting better.
The Pain Is Manageable
Hospice care is not geared toward getting better but is focused on making you as comfortable as possible while your illness plays itself out to its conclusion. If you are still able to provide yourself comfort at home and manage the pain, there is not much hospice care can do for you that you are not already doing for yourself. The family support element of hospice care can also be provided through other means. You do not need to enter hospice care simply so that your family can access its emotional support resources. Furthermore, if you are not in pain at all, it is an indication that you are not yet ready for hospice care.
Your Prognosis Is One Year or Longer
Hospice care is generally designed for people who have been diagnosed with less than one year to live, sometimes less than six months. That is not always the case, as some people remain in hospice care for two years or more, but it is the general rule. If your doctor has given you longer than one year to live, you may not be ready for hospice care yet. If you have been given less than one year or six months to live, hospice care may be a viable option for your comfort.
You Are Not Ready to Die
It may seem that no one is ready to die, but the truth is, when an incurable condition advances far enough, many people find succumbing to death is their most hopeful option. If this is against your current mindset, you are probably not ready for hospice care just yet. By contrast, when you are ready to start letting go, hospice care may be your best choice.