There are many drawbacks to aging. In fact, it can be quite a taxing experience for our loved ones that have a hard time processing it. Because of this, they won’t always tell you what they are going through.
As such, you may have to recognize these tell-tale signs all on your own. Here are a few that you might want to watch for.
1. Aggressive Intervention is No Longer Desired
Some adults over a certain age have terminal illnesses that require aggressive intervention. If you find that a loved one is feeling less inclined to pursue treatment, then it might be a good time to explore hospice.
Key indicators of this include hearing a tone of frustration or an indication of giving up. Phrases include expressions of tiredness or even something like, “I just want one day without pain”
With hospice, your loved ones can have an improved quality of life, as their important needs can be met. Most hospice patients have illnesses like cancer, heart disease, lung disease, Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, liver disease, and more.
2. Hospital Visits are Becoming More and More Frequent
If they are taking more frequent trips to the hospital or their doctor, it might be time to seek hospice. It is normal for patients to use emergency services more often when they have a terminal illness.
However, if you notice that your loved one is visiting the emergency department frequently, this may be a sign of declining health.
3. Signs of Confusion and/or Restlessness
Restlessness and confusion may be a sign of declining health as the disease progresses. As older adults, these symptoms can start to manifest and patients can become agitated easily not understanding what is happening to them.
At this time, they may also seem to have difficulty communicating, causing them to withdraw from friends or family. This may be caused by a number of reasons, including declining hearing and circulation, and even vision problems.
4. More Help Is Needed
Aging with a terminal illness often includes declining state of physical fitness. Activities of daily living may be harder to complete independently.
If they were once able to move independently, they might now need the aid of someone walking by their side, or a walker. In some cases, they might need the aid of a wheelchair.
During a hospice evaluation, the clinical team can help to determine what medical equipment is needed in the home to keep the patient safer. Often times this equipment is covered under the hospice benefit.
5. Symptoms Are Becoming Less Manageable
Pain may increase as a disease progresses. Studies show that pain increases in the last two years of life. In many cases with a terminal illness such as cancer, this can lead to uncontrolled pain. Managing pain is a core element of hospice care. Oversee by a physician, medication will be titrated until the patient is comfortable and living the best quality of life possible. Chronic pain from a terminal illness will often qualify a patient for hospice care.
If you observe that your loved one is exhibiting any of the above-mentioned signs and symptoms, then it might be time to consider a hospice evaluation.
Looking for hospice care in California that will give your loved ones the proper care they need? You can trust Bridge Home Health & Hospice. We provide an interdisciplinary clinical team that will support your loved one’s decision to forgo further treatment and live comfortably at home.
Contact us today.