Making the Decision to Enter Hospice Care
At any stage of an advanced illness, it's appropriate to discuss options, including hospice and palliative care. The decision belongs to the patient, his or her personal physician, and family.
Hospice care is most beneficial when referrals are made as early as possible affording adequate time for symptom and pain management and the development of trusting relationships between patient, family, and The Denver Hospice team.
We encourage you to begin conversations with physicians and family members now regarding your end-of-life wishes, including advance healthcare planning and designation of a healthcare agent.
Understandably, most people are uncomfortable with the idea of stopping all efforts to cure their disease. It is courageous to fight terminal illness, and it is equally courageous to know when to discontinue treatment that is no longer helpful. Our staff members are highly sensitive to these concerns and always available to discuss these and other issues with patients and families.
A Message for Family Members and Other Loved Ones
Family members and other loved ones are often a critical part of hospice care. At times, a patient who may benefit from hospice care may not be aware such treatment is available or may not be capable of contacting hospice. That's when family members or other loved ones contact hospice.
If your loved one is considering hospice care or is already under hospice care, we are here for you, too, and welcome your questions and insights. Family members and other loved ones play a vital role in caregiving. Many times, after being trained by a hospice nurse, they will provide much of the hands-on care.