Some patients and their families seek aggressive medical care as long as possible. Conversations about hospice are important and should occur at the same time when people develop plans for end-of-life care. This may include health care power of attorney, Advanced Directives and Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders.
It may be time to consider hospice, when:
- Your doctors tell you that they cannot cure your disease.
- Your doctor determines that your life expectancy is six months or less, if your illness runs its normal course.
- Treatment to prolong your life becomes too much of a burden.
- You seek relief from pain and discomfort.
- You want to spend your remaining time in the comfort and safety of your home.
- Your family and friends want to participate in your care.
REMEMBER: Only about half the patients in hospice care are cancer patients. Other non-cancer health issues -- such as Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia, liver, lung (COPD) and heart disease – can benefit from the hospice team’s ability to treat pain and other symptoms.
Help your family know what you want. Here are two sources to help you:
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, www.nhpco.org
South Carolina's Office of Aging also offers information on creating a living will and advanced directives.
If you would like a McLeod Hospice physician to exam you or a relative for hospice care, call (843) 777-2564 or 1-800-768-4556.