How to Make Hospice Care a Smoother Transition

old person

Hospice care focuses on making the life of a sick patient more comfortable instead of trying to cure the disease. Usually, a patient enters hospice for diseases that have a small likelihood of being cured, like cancer. However, some patients can choose to enter hospice for a time and then go back to normal treatments. Whatever your reasons for choosing hospice care, there are some elements that make your transition smoother. 

Get Everything in Writing

With hospice care, the patient can live for a longer amount of time, such as months, or go overnight. It’s important that all your decisions be made in writing as verbal communication can lead to misunderstandings and be forgotten. Eventually, the patient will need a health care proxy or a person who is determined to be in charge. This is needed when hard decisions need to be made and the patient is unable to communicate. Make sure that the one who is chosen as health care proxy has written documents to guide them, such as written instructions from the patient on how they want treatment when they have stopped breathing like CPR and other medical treatment. 

Make Hospice Care an Option Early On

Knowing that hospice is an option early on can be a great help to patients. Sometimes hospice can help patients live longer than normal treatments to try and stop the disease. If the patient knows about hospice care earlier on, they are usually relieved and would like the comfort that comes from hospice care.


Make sure that you communicate with your doctor, family, and friends. This will ensure that everyone is always on the same page. The patient will want to make different decisions as the process goes on. Thes include things like wanting as many visitors as possible to limiting visitors to certain individuals. It’s important that the patient get as much control over their care so that their experience can be more peaceful and calming. Communicating with the doctor can also improve the care that the patient receives. This is because your doctor will try and do everything in his power to keep the patient alive unless you communicate specifics. These specifics should include certain situations and what you want your doctor to do in those situations.

Determine Where and How the Care Should Take Place

Hospice care can be done anywhere. It’s important to ask the patient where they would like their care to occur. Many patients would like their last moments to be in their home or the home of a relative. Health care professionals can be brought into a home with nurses that can be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for comprehensive hospice care. When determining if hospice care will take place in the home or in a care facility, you may find that that you want to have hospice care take place in a hospital because of complex needs or minimal safety in a home. 

Written documents, talking about care earlier, communicating with all involved parties, and determining where and how the hospice care should take place are all important steps when considering and carrying out hospice care. Whichever route is chosen, make sure that you, the patient, are heavily involved. It’s important to be able to make decisions along the way as this is really all about you.

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