Discussing all one’s care options—including hospice and palliative care—is appropriate at any stage of serious illness. For these discussions will help guide the individual, his or her personal physician, and family in making the best decision at the best time.
Hospice care is most beneficial when referrals are made as early as possible following a terminal diagnosis. This affords adequate time for aggressive symptom and pain management and for the patient and the family to develop a trusting relationship with members of The Denver Hospice Team. We encourage you to begin conversations now with physicians and family members regarding your end-of-life wishes, including advance healthcare planning and designation of a healthcare agent.
Most people understandably are uncomfortable with the idea of stopping all efforts to cure their disease. It is courageous to fight terminal illness. But it is equally courageous to know when to discontinue treatment that is no longer helpful. Our staff members are highly sensitive to these concerns and are always available to discuss these and related issues with individuals and families.
A Special Message for Family Members and Loved Ones
There are times when someone who may benefit from hospice care may not be aware such treatment is available or may not be capable of contacting hospice. That’s when family members or other loved ones contact hospice.
If your loved one is considering hospice care or is already under hospice care, we are here for you, too, and welcome your questions and insights. Family members and other loved ones play a vital role in caregiving for hospice patients. Many times, after being trained by a hospice nurse, family members will provide much of the hands-on care.