Knowing when is the right time for a hospice referral can be hard to figure out. This may seem a difficult decision to come to, but the more you know about what we offer and what are the benefits of receiving good palliative care, it becomes obvious that having the support of hospice available to you and your family as soon as possible is vital.
Referrals for any of our services can come from any source, including families, doctors, hospitals, and patients themselves. We are more than ready to meet with you and answer your questions without any charge or obligation. If you want to pursue further services, we may need to talk to your doctor, but only with your permission.
Hospice comes in when the focus turns from treatment to comfort. The best way to determine this is to ask what the goal of care is. Are you willing to sacrifice how you are feeling today to be able to feel better tomorrow -- like when you have surgery or get radiation treatment? Or are you most concerned with making today the best day possible? When the focus turns to relieving distressing symptoms, hospice may be the best care choice.
Some of the greatest confusion about hospice arises when figuring out when someone is medically eligible for care. The traditional idea of having a prognosis of six months or less is very difficult to determine and can give rise to further confusion -- such as believing that services are available for just six months, which is not the case. Instead, we use guidelines for different diagnoses that clearly spell out who is eligible for our hospice services. We work closely with you and your doctor to make this determination.
Most importantly, think about getting care as early as possible. Study after study show that timely hospice intervention prolongs life, decreases symptoms, supports families, minimizes unwanted hospitalizations and saves money. The decision may seem easier once you have all the facts.
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