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When Is It Time for Hospice Care?

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By  Greg Bechard

Owner of Home Instead Senior Care Mississauga

Home Instead caregiver talking to a hospice patient

Suggestions for Families Caring for Seniors

As the saying goes, "there are two certainties in life, death and taxes." We may say that in a jesting context, but the reality is that death is inevitable; and there's no running away from taxes! The process of passing on can seem vague and distant in younger days. However, for seniors, it is a reality and one that seems to come closer with each passing day. Admitting that their health has declined or being diagnosed with a terminal disease can bring about different feelings, including anxiety. Hospice care is a form of end-of-life care that focuses on helping the patient meet various needs during their last days.

Help your aging loved one go from treating their illness to seeking comfort and quality of life in their final stage of life. The hospice home healthcare team at Home Instead Senior Care can provide support for your elderly parent during this sensitive phase of life. Our highly trained, compassionate staff is ready to step in so you can be the daughter, son, or grandchild instead of the caregiver in this season of life.

4 Signs It May Be Time for Hospice Care

Many times, seniors do not want to lose their independence nor be a burden to their families. Thus, when their health fails, they may hide how they are feeling. As an attentive caregiver, you can be on the lookout for some signs that may indicate a new course of action may be necessary, such as:

  • Their treatment is no longer working. Your mom's symptoms may no longer be responding to the treatment. She may decide that she wants to enjoy quality of life over endless days of feeling ill. Listen for comments about being tired or wanting to be able to sleep comfortably. These may be cues that hospice can help bring her more comfort.
  • Dad's symptoms are getting harder to manage. Does Dad seem to be in much more pain than before? Maybe he is nauseous most days, vomits frequently, or has much trouble swallowing. He may benefit from additional care.
  • Your aunt appears confused or restless. Older adults may often feel confused or agitated near the end of their life cycle. Is your aunt aware of what is going on around her? Does she have hallucinations, that is, does she see things that aren't there? It might be a sign of declining health.
  • They have stopped showing any interest in eating or are losing weight. As the body slows down, it does not need as much fuel. Pay attention to your loved one's eating habits. Have they lost their appetite? Do they force themselves to eat?

Contrary to what you may think, hospice care can start any time after being diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness, and the patient has less than six months to live. The sooner you recognize the signs, the more comfort your aging family member can experience.

Compassionate Senior Hospice Care for Quality End-of-Life Support

Give your dying loved one the gift of compassionate care in their home when you hire a personal support worker from Home Instead Senior Care Mississauga. Our professional caregivers are highly-trained and ready to step in as part of your dad's hospice team. We work with you and your family to bring the most comfort during this critical time of life.

Call us at (905) 276-2273 to schedule a no-obligation, in-home consultation. Learn more about the compassionate, quality senior care we deliver each day to families in our Mississauga area.


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