Making the decision

How do I know if hospice is the right choice?

Deciding to enter hospice is a very difficult and emotional transformation from curative care to palliative care. The patient and the family need time to process this information and accept the disease instead of fighting it. When the serious illness can no longer be cured, hospice care is there to provide comfort for the patient and support for family members.

Who should make the decision?

Often the patient’s physician and family are involved in the decision making process; however, by law the decision belongs to the patient only.

When is it time to enter hospice?

When a physician informs you that you have less than six months of life expectancy and it’s no longer possible to continue life-sustaining treatment. Receiving the diagnosis and coming to terms with it can be very difficult and emotional process that might take some time for the patient to cope with.

When should a patient contact hospice?

A patient should enter hospice when they are still capable of being grateful for the pain/symptom control benefits. These benefits allow the patient to spend the last part of their lives without unnecessary pain.

What to expect from hospice?

Once the patient has decided to enter hospice care the patient and the family should expect:

  • Patient care with emphasized focus on quality of life
  • A comprehensive approach to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual care
  • Caregiver family training throughout entire hospice process
  • Professional care team (physicians, social workers, nurses, chaplains) that work according to patient’s wishes.
  • Medical equipment, supplies & medications

Is it possible to switch back to regular treatment?

Yes, patients may choose to leave hospice and go back to regular treatment and readmit at later on.