Caring for aging parents can be stressful and might even put a strain on your relationship. The last thing you want is to have to choose between your parents and your spouse. Fortunately, there is an alternative.
Hospice care handles the heavy lifting when it comes to caring for your aging parents. It gives your parents the support they need. At the same time, it gives you more time to enjoy their company.
It’s important to make sure your parent’s end-of-life plan is one filled with happiness and love. Unfortunately, less than half the patients who would benefit from hospice care actually receive it.
When is hospice care needed for your parents? This guide will help you spot the signs that it’s time to have the discussion.
Is There a Difference Between Hospice and Palliative Care?
The first step to knowing if it’s time for a care service is to understand the difference between the two.
Palliative care brings together specialists who help a patient thrive until they’re cured. The team provides medical care, nutritional resources, and helps navigate the healthcare system.
Hospice care provides similar resources for the patient. However, these patients are terminally ill and need more hands-on care. Patients go into hospice care during their final six months.
Struggling with Pain Management
Chronic pain leads to depression and other mental health disorders. Patients might snap in anger or break down in tears.
Watching your aging parents struggle with pain makes saying goodbye harder.
Hospice care focuses on managing chronic pain. Patients who are not in constant pain have more time to make memories with their families.
Health Conditions Require Special Care
Taking care of your aging parents shouldn’t feel like a burden. Their medical conditions can be overwhelming. You can’t focus on enjoying time with them when stressed.
Older patients are prone to slow-healing wounds that require special care. They take many medications you need to track. Then there’s all the specialized equipment such as oxygen tanks, which need careful handling.
There is no shame in admitting that the care they need is beyond what you can handle. That is why hospice care exists. It helps you and your loved one enjoy your remaining months together.
The Patient Can’t Perform Daily Tasks Alone
The biggest sign that your aging parents should enter hospice is a lack of self-care. Patients coping with a terminal illness often can’t do tasks that need endurance.
If patients can’t do the following tasks, consider hospice care:
- Brush their hair/teeth
- Cook 3 meals a day
- Eat a full meal
- Get dressed
- Walk across their home
- Clean up after using the restroom
Hospice care allows patients to live their final months with dignity and grace. Patients get the same care whether they are in a facility or at home. Home hospice services give patients earlier access to the care they need.
Give Your Aging Parents the Care They Deserve
There is never an easy way to say goodbye to your aging loved ones. All you can do is make sure their final months are pain-free and full of love.
Hospice care programs help your family do what’s right for the patient. They take care of whatever the patient needs to be happy. The programs also offer families spiritual and emotional support.
If this guide helped you understand that your parent needs hospice care, we’re here for you. Contact Sholom to discuss the next step to getting quality hospice care.