When Is It Time for Hospice Care?

young and old woman

The possibility of losing a loved one is a painful reality of life that no one wants to face but has to because death and decline themselves are inevitable.

If you have been caring for a loved one who is getting old or is terminally ill, the difficulty of the experience can only grow worse because of how unbearable it is to witness someone wither away. While you may feel the overwhelming desire to be there for your loved one until their last moment so that you can help them live their best life, the truth is that such a privilege is rarely available. With obligations at work and at home, you’ll eventually realize that you won’t have enough time each day to keep up with the juggling act. 

Once curative treatment no longer becomes an option, and your loved one demands more round-the-clock care that you can’t provide, it’s critical to start thinking about getting hospice care.

The importance of hospice care 

As time passes by and your loved one’s health deteriorates, the list of daily tasks that you’ll need to deal with will only grow to the point where you can’t keep up without compromising your comfort or mental health. Fortunately, this is where hospice care comes in and takes over so that you can spend more time with other matters and commitments in your life.

When you bring a loved one into hospice care, you entrust them to the hands of a professional who can make your loved one feel comfortable. With the help of an establishment like Bridge Home Health & Hospice, you’ll have a skilled professional care for a terminally-ill family member so that you can focus on other important matters like: 

  • Estate planning
  • Work commitments
  • Funeral arrangements
  • Final arrangements for an end of life

Signs to watch out for

While it is clear that hospice care is the perfect solution when it comes to adjusting and accommodating the unique needs of your loved one’s journey, knowing when to start isn’t as obvious. To help ensure that you seek the right type of care at the best time possible, here are the most vital end-of-life signs that you’ll need to consider when choosing this type of care:

Physical signs

The most obvious signs that your loved one will need hospice care soon are most prevalent in physical conditions. Let’s look at the common physical indicators that you should watch out for:

  • They’re suffering from frequent or recurring infections
  • They’re experiencing a rapid decline in health despite aggressive medical treatment (one which is characterized by frequent hospitalizations or trips to the emergency room)
  • They’re experiencing constant uncontrolled pain, nausea, or vomiting
  • They’re experiencing a persistent loss of urinary or bowel control
  • They’re suffering from a constant decrease in food and fluid intake
  • They’re experiencing a decline in their motor skills to the point where they cannot perform daily tasks without assistance

Mental and emotional signs

Coupled with the physical end of life signs, mental and emotional indicators are also difficult to overlook because of how persistent and severe they grow over time. Once a terminal illness sets in, these specific signs will show that it’s time to start making arrangements for hospice care:

  • They’ve begun to withdraw themselves from family, friends, and loved ones
  • They’ve begun to say goodbye while giving away personal belongings
  • They’ve begun to make funeral plans without being prompted to do so
  • They’ve begun to make statements or send out requests that are often out of character
  • They’ve begun to experience visions and hallucinations without being able to discern correctly


As difficult as it may be to confront a loved one’s impending demise, it is especially vital to remain clear-headed when making decisions on their behalf, especially when deliberating on hospice care. With this guide’s help, you can approach the process of choosing when to bring your terminally-ill loved one to hospice care with the most informed standpoint possible!

Bridge Home Health & Hospice provides senior health services in California, ranging from hospice care to adult day care services. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help provide the best level of care and attention for your elderly loved one!

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