Many families believe they’ll have more time with their aging or terminally ill loved ones. Even if they are in the last stages of their illness, medical therapies and treatments can give hope to the family of the hospice patient for a longer life. However, medicines and therapies can only take us so far.
The quality of a loved one’s life is more important than how long they will live for. The most important thing for a patient and their family is to have a clear mindset about the kind of care they want. If your loved one is struggling with health issues and curative treatments are not an option, you may have to discuss hospice care with the patient and their doctor.
Palliative care patients who are critically ill and are in the last stage of a terminal disease may have to visit the emergency room frequently with different health issues. They may even get hospitalized for their symptoms and contract the same infections repeatedly.
Even if your loved one has been going through aggressive curative treatments for months, their health may continue to decline. They may experience uncontrolled pain, vomiting, nausea, and shortness of breath. These are physical signs that the patient is critically ill and needs hospice care for comfort.
Sometimes patients who need hospice care cannot complete daily tasks independently. They may need help with eating, using the bathroom, personal hygiene, walking, and getting dressed. They may also lose their appetite and desire to eat over time. This can result in significant weight loss and changes in their body composition. Some patients can experience mental confusion or decreased alertness. Patients often withdraw from loved ones and sleep for long periods.
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