Hospice care: When is the right time to call?

Caring for a terminally ill loved one can be an emotionally challenging experience. You know that the time you have left with the person you love is quite limited, but you want to help him or her enjoy as high quality a life as possible in the time he or she has left. Part of caring for someone who has an incurable disease is learning to recognize when he or she needs added support, especially as the disease progresses and symptoms worsen.

Many Pennsylvania family members struggle with knowing when they can handle a situation and when it might be time to tap into some support resources. If you've been thinking about hospice care and are wanting to learn more about the services hospice programs can provide, then this post is for you.

Hospice workers can help before the final days

When you think of hospice, you might consider it a final step in your loved one's journey. However, it's often possible to enlist the services of hospice workers earlier. There are typically qualification requirements to fulfill, but if your loved one is eligible, your family may greatly benefit from hospice services long before the final days and hours of your family member's life.

Signs that it's a good time to arrange for hospice care

As you know, a terminally ill patient's condition may greatly fluctuate from day to day. If your loved one has had to seek treatment at a hospital numerous times in recent weeks, or his or her symptoms are worsening with each passing day, you might want to schedule a consultation with hospice administrators. It may also be a good time to call if you don't feel that you can continue to provide quality care on your own.

Addressing other issues in conjunction with hospice care

There are often so many things to talk about with your loved one as he or she prepares for the ultimate outcome of his or her illness. If your family member's illness is workplace-related, you may also want to discuss the legal aspects of the situation, especially if you believe employer negligence was a causal factor in the onset of your loved one's disease.

Many Pennsylvania workers currently suffer from mesothelioma, asbestosis and other illnesses contracted by exposure to asbestos. Medical care is expensive, and although Medicare typically covers hospice care, there may still be many illness-related issues that can cause serious financial distress. State law enables terminally ill workers to pursue justice against those who were negligent.

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