Conversations about hospice care can feel incredibly scary because you’re talking about final wishes and end-of-life needs. All of those topics might even be ones that your senior has avoided talking about for a long time. But there comes a point when you can’t ignore what’s happening any longer and might need to make a change.
Make Sure Everyone Is on the Same Page
It’s a good idea to start out talking with your senior’s medical providers and with her about her prognosis and how her health issues are progressing. Understanding exactly what the medical realities are for your senior are vital right now, for you and for her. Her doctors can help you to determine if this is the right time to embrace hospice care services and make sure your senior understands why this is helpful.
Talk to Your Senior about What She Wants
Something else you want to do is to talk with your aging family member about what it is that she wants from the last few months of her life. For many seniors, staying at home even with serious health issues is still incredibly important. If that’s the case for your senior, you can start to share with her how hospice care can help her to achieve those goals.
Work with Hospice Care Providers to Assess Needs and Set up a Plan
One of the first things that hospice care providers will do is to assess your senior’s situation and determine what her needs are. That helps everyone involved to put together a plan that is going to do the most for your elderly family member. This is also when everyone involved can get a lot more clarity on your senior’s goals and what has to happen in order to achieve those goals.
Adjust the Plan to Keep Meeting Needs
Over time, your senior’s needs are likely to change. She may start to feel better with hospice care or her health may continue to decline. No matter what, hospice providers are there to help adjust the care that your senior receives in order to keep up with what she truly needs. If that means that your senior feels well enough to opt back out of hospice, that’s a possibility, too.
Explore All the Ways Hospice Care Can Help All of You
There are so many different ways that hospice makes life easier for your elderly family member, of course, but it’s also there to help you and other family members. Bereavement assistance, respite care, and so many other resources are available. Each of these tools can help with some specific challenges that occur when someone you love is nearing the end of life.
As your elderly family member nears the end of her life, she needs care that can adapt quickly to meet the challenges that can show up so very quickly. Having hospice care providers available can make all the difference when it comes to giving your elderly family member the best quality of life that you can during those later months of her life.