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When Should A Family Call Hospice?

When Should A Family Call Hospice?

Posted on July 10, 2015 by Care Dimensions People facing a serious illness are often overwhelmed by a multitude of physical, financial, emotional and spiritual concerns. All too often, a simple call to hospice is delayed because of the misconception that hospice services are only for patients about to die within a few days. So many times, we hear from families, "We wish we had called hospice sooner." When the goal of treatment begins to shift from curing the illness to providing comfort, it is time to consider hospice. By contacting hospice early in the diagnosis, it enables the patient and family to have additional time to understand their options and choose the path that will have the most impact on quality of life.

What is hospice?

Hospice is a multi-disciplinary approach to providing medical, spiritual, practical and emotional support to patients with advanced illness who have a prognosis of living six months or less. The patient-centered care plan includes expert medical care, coordination of medication and equipment, 24/7 nursing support, pain management, education and complementary therapies. Care is provided by a team that includes a physician, nurse, hospice aide, social worker, chaplain and trained volunteers.

What are some of the signs that it is time to consider a call to hospice?

• Have you noticed a progression of a serious illness?

• Is treatment becoming more of a burden than a benefit?

• Have you noticed an increase in pain, nausea or breathing distress?

• Have you started taking more medication for pain?

• Have you had repeat trips to the emergency room or hospital?

• Have you noticed significant, unexplained weight loss?

• Have there been several falls in the last six months?

• Is there a need for more help with bathing, dressing, walking or getting out of bed?

Learn more:

The best way to determine if you or your loved one could be helped by Care Dimensions is to call us at 888-283-1722. To learn more about our services, please visit us at www.CareDimensions.org or email us at [email protected].


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Posted on May 30, 2024 by Alison Samia in Caregiving,  Hospice

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Anyone—patient, family, care provider—can make a referral. Fill in the form online or call us today.

Since 1978, Care Dimensions, formerly Hospice of the North Shore,  has provided comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals and families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. As the non-profit leader in advanced illness care, we offer services in over 100 communities in Massachusetts.

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