No matter how much time or effort you put into taking care of your aging parent, it may not be enough. At some point, a lot of seniors need professional care as their health deteriorates—and unless you can dedicate your entire time to taking care of them and are a healthcare professional, you may need to sign your parent up for hospice care at a certain point in time.
A hospice can be a safe, comfortable, and healthy place for your aging parent as they live out the rest of their life. It is certainly not as dreadful as a lot of people make it out to be. However, you need to know when it is right to take your parent to a hospice to make their experience as positive as possible.
Thus, here are some signs that may mean it’s time to sign your parent up for hospice care.
If your parent has been needing to go to the hospital more frequently as of late, it would be much more practical for them to live in a place where they can get immediate care. Furthermore, receiving care instantly can help extend their lifespan for as long as possible, as opposed to having to go in and out of a hospital.
And as for the rest of the family, you will be much more at ease knowing that your parent has healthcare professionals all around them to respond to their needs immediately.
The family can no longer take care of them on their own
It is fairly common for one or more family members to act as primary caretakers of an aging parent with health conditions. And if they can no longer handle the demand, they may opt to hire hospice nurses to provide in-home care, which is a great option for seniors who want to age in place.
However, when in-home care is no longer a viable option, living in a hospice is the next best move for your aging parent. In a hospice, they can receive assistance with their basic needs and treatment for whatever condition they have.
Treatment is no longer working
If your parent’s treatments are no longer working or you do not wish to pursue aggressive intervention anymore, hospice care is an excellent idea. In a hospice, the treatment for patients focuses on pain relief and symptom management instead of curing the illness. This type of care can allow your parent to live out the rest of their life as pain-free and as comfortably as possible despite letting the illness take its course.
Their symptoms are getting more severe
As your aging parent’s health deteriorates, their symptoms may grow more difficult to manage. At a certain point, signing them up for hospice care is the only way to ease their symptoms and increase their quality of life.
If they are experiencing increasing pain, vomiting, shortness of breath, nausea, and other symptoms that are difficult to manage with therapy, hospice care can help.
They are experiencing mental confusion
It is common for older adults to experience mental confusion as they age. For many, this manifests through unusual behaviors like not knowing where they are, seeing things that aren’t there, and having delusions. It is also typical for these adults to be confused, agitated, and sometimes even combative.
If your parent is already manifesting these symptoms, you should take them to a facility like a hospice, where people are trained to handle these types of behaviors. Otherwise, they may cause harm to themselves and other people around them.
They want to focus on their quality of life
Pay attention to what your parent is saying to clue in on what they really want. Sometimes, they may say things like “I just want to rest” or “I want my last days to be pain-free,” which likely indicates that they are ready for hospice care. Older adults with terminal conditions often experience a better quality of life in a hospice, no matter how much life there is left, so be sure to consider their wishes.
Hospice care can help your aging parent live better—and perhaps even longer. A hospice is not a place where people come to die—but rather a place that can make them feel safe, comfortable, and happy as they live out the rest of their lives. That said, if these signs apply to your parent or loved one, consider signing them up for a hospice as soon as possible.