Hospice is not about giving up; it’s about quality of life, peace, comfort, control and dignity. While it is difficult to know the exact right decision for you or your loved one as the end of life nears, signs can point you toward the need for a hospice consultation:

  • Frequent hospital admissions or visits to the emergency department
  • Signs of increasing illness such as uncontrolled pain, shortness of breath, nausea and frequent or recurring infections
  • Inability to perform daily living tasks such as eating, getting dressed or toileting without assistance
  • Physical symptoms such as less desire to eat, significant weight loss, sleep and body changes
  • Frequent falls or difficulty walking
  • Confusion or Declining mental function
  • Rapid decline in health over the past six months, despite medical treatments

Making decisions regarding hospice care is difficult and there are a lot of emotions involved both for the patient and their family. An essential step is having open and honest conversations about the kind of care you want with your family, your doctor and others you trust.