Hospice Can Improve Quality of Life
Hospice care is often mistaken for care in the last days or hours of life. The truth is that hospice care may be available much earlier than you think! Hospice of the Northwest often cares for patients for many weeks or months; including symptom management, integrative therapies, help with personal care, assistance coordinating resources, volunteer support, and more.
When patients and their circles of support begin Hospice of the Northwest services, they are initially approved for three months of hospice services. This means each patient and their loved ones can work with a dedicated care team to create a personalized plan of care focused on their specific needs and goals for at least three months. This personalized care, and hospice support services, can improve the patient’s quality of life, often bringing comfort and relief to families and loved ones.
After three months on hospice service, the dedicated care team reviews the patient chart and determines if the patient still qualifies for hospice. Sometimes patients “graduate” from hospice because their prognosis has improved after months of holistic care. Other times, patients are “recertified” to remain on hospice service, continuing to receive more high-quality support from their expert clinical team.
Hospice may be available earlier than you think
Studies show that patients receiving hospice care can live longer than individuals addressing terminal illness without hospice services. Many hospice patients access services for weeks and months; improving their quality of life, managing their symptoms, and increasing their comfort during their end-of-life journey.
Is it time for hospice? A few questions to ask:
- Do you have a terminal illness with a prognosis of six months or less?
- Does it seem like treatment for your illness is no longer helping?
- Is there an increase in shortness of breath, fatigue, pain, nausea, or weight loss?
- Do you struggle more and more with activities like walking, eating, and dressing?
- Are the side effects of your treatment worse than the symptoms of the disease?
- Are the members of your family overwhelmed and in need of emotional support or additional resources?
Call hospice early to ease stress on patients and families
If you are considering hospice care, the earlier you call the better.
Sometimes people wait to request support until the need for hospice care is urgent. Moving through the referral process under those conditions can be difficult for the patient and their loved ones. Referring early can make the process much less stressful and can improve the comfort and quality of life for the patient earlier.
If you have any questions or want to talk about hospice services, please call us at (360) 814–5550 or fill out the email form.
“Hospice is not necessarily about your death. It’s about maximizing quality of life, for however long time you have.”
Talon Windwalker, Spiritual Counselor