When a doctor tells a family member that an illness is terminal, there may be disagreement among other family members about the next steps to take.
When dad has been told that death is just a few months away, sons and daughters may want dad to go on hospice while mom may want to continue aggressive treatment. (Or those sides of the argument may be reversed.)
Frequently, these disagreements occur because of a lack of familiarity with hospice. The concept is still relatively new, just a few decades old in the U.S. Even those in their 70s and 80s who’ve had friends on hospice may not know the full scope of hospice care and may have fallen prey to hospice misconceptions.
The most important things to know are: Hospice care does not speed up the dying process. Hospice is focused on patient comfort and pain relief. If a patient and/or caregivers want to rescind the decision to accept hospice care, it can be easily done.
It can be hard for any family member to face up to the reality that mom, dad, husband, wife or other family member will soon be gone. When a patient signs on for hospice care, there is an implied acknowledgement that life’s finish line is within view.
Convincing others who are providing input into the decision that your position (either for or against hospice care) is the correct choice can be difficult. A visit with a hospice representative can address most of your concerns and may reveal to all concerned that hospice is the proper choice. Or maybe not, for now.
We at Hope Hospice welcome the opportunity to share our story with all who will listen. If you have any questions about hospice care in St. Louis, call Hope Hospice at 314-984-9800.