Hospice in Portland, OR
Determining whether you or your loved one is ready for hospice care is not an easy decision. You may be uncertain whether you or your loved one has truly reached the point where hospice is necessary to preserve quality of life.
Agape Hospice NW has compiled a comprehensive list of events or symptoms that suggest hospice care may be in your best interest. Ultimately the decision is yours, but it is helpful to understand what has led many others to make this transition, and how it may be beneficial to you or your loved one.
Common Illnesses in Hospice Care
Terminal illnesses and diseases that lead to the need for hospice care are not limited to seniors, and can be experienced by people of any age. Common illnesses include:
- Heart, lung, liver, or respiratory disease
- Alzheimer’s or dementia
- Organ failure
- Neurologic disease
When Treatment Is No Longer Effective
When a patient’s condition worsens, and treatment is no longer effective in managing their illness, they or their family may request or be recommended hospice care. They will transition from a curative treatment plan to a symptom management treatment plan with medication and support to alleviate pain and other discomforts.
If You No Longer Wish to Pursue Intervention
When a patient has spent a significant amount of time seeking curative treatments that have proven ineffective in restoring their health, they may accept their condition and no longer wish to pursue intervention. In these cases, they often choose to pursue hospice care to preserve their quality of life in their final months.
Debilitating Symptoms and Discomfort
Patients dealing with a terminal illness are often faced with debilitating symptoms and discomfort. Often, these symptoms are so challenging to manage that they require consistent assistance. Hospice care provides support to alleviate symptoms and prevent new symptoms from developing.
Frequent Hospitalizations or Doctor Visits
Frequent hospitalizations or doctor visits are a sign of declining health. When a patient is experiencing the strain of their terminal illness, they may find relief in hospice care rather than having to continuously visit their physician or hospital for health support or relief. With hospice, our team comes to the patient when they are in distress so there is no need for hospitalizations.
Older adults with Alzheimer’s or dementia, among other conditions, may experience rapid cognitive decline as they reach the end of their lives. This may include confusion, or combative or agitated behavior that can be a danger to themselves and others. Hospice care can be advantageous for these individuals, as they can receive the constant support they need to remain comfortable and out of harm’s way.
Inability to Communicate
Whether it be due to hearing or vision problems, cognitive impairment or other issues, speech and communication are often challenged during the end-of-life period. As a result, people with these symptoms may withdraw or experience difficulties in their everyday lives. Hospice care can help, as it provides them with support and advocacy.
Loss of Appetite or Weight Loss
Often, loss of appetite or nausea due to a person’s declining health will become prominent before they reach the end of their life. You may also notice extreme weight loss or digestive issues. This may be an indication that hospice care is needed, as hospice care can provide assistance with nutrition, feeding, and personal care.
Excessive Sleep Habits
When the body begins to slow down from battling the side effects and symptoms of chronic medical conditions, a person may begin to spend an excessive amount of time sleeping. This lack of energy often leads to spending time in bed or sitting in a chair. It is a tell-tale sign of declining health and is often a sign to pursue hospice.
Certain illnesses and diseases compromise the body’s ability to fight infections. Therefore, when a person is very ill, they may fall victim to recurrent infections, such as sepsis, pneumonia, or urinary tract infections. These infections are not only uncomfortable, but require medical intervention, which is why when the problem persists, many people opt for hospice care to ease the strain of these infections.
Caregiver Stress or Strain
While many caregivers feel immense guilt admitting that they are stressed or strained by their role as caregivers, it’s a reality that many will face, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. As your loved one’s needs become increasingly more demanding, you may feel helpless or overwhelmed as a caregiver.
You are not alone, and this is a normal reaction. Hospice care can be extremely beneficial in these circumstances, as it enables the current caregiver to remain involved while providing them with expert guidance and support, and a chance to take a step back and focus on their own needs.
How Hospice Care Can Help
There is no set time to choose hospice care. This valuable resource offers a wealth of benefits that can be used at any point during the end-of-life journey, helping the patient and their loved ones to enjoy their final time together in a dignified way.
Hospice care services include:
- Nursing Services (under the direction of our physicians)
- Social Services
- Medical supplies, equipment, and medications
- Pain and symptom management
- Emotional and spiritual support
- Practical assistance
- Social support and bereavement counseling
- Professional healthcare provider guidance
Learn More About Hospice Care With Agape Hospice NW
If you’re considering hospice care for you or your loved one, Agape Hospice NW is here to guide you through the process. Our experienced hospice care team can provide you with the support and compassionate care you need to enhance the end-of-life journey. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.