Starting a conversation about hospice care and palliative care can take a great amount of courage. These topics, which revolve around end-of-life care and providing support to those grappling with life-limiting illnesses, can be emotionally challenging to broach. As exemplified by former President Jimmy Carter who openly shared his hospice journey, these discussions have the power to transform our perception of what hospice truly can be as part of Celebrating Life’s Stories®.
As a not-for-profit community-based hospice and palliative care team, we have witnessed the tangible benefits of these conversations and the vital role they play in delivering compassionate care. Many individuals, however, delay these discussions until they find themselves amid a healthcare crisis, inadvertently prolonging their stay in hospitals or emergency rooms. This delay not only results in challenging days but also can lead to missed opportunities to spend quality time with loved ones at home. It is important that we encourage these conversations and educate each other about the invaluable support and comfort that supportive and comfort care can offer, ensuring that individuals are informed about end-of-life care options.
Every November, we recognize National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. This month, Ohio’s Hospice is dedicated to reflecting on, educating, and informing our communities about the invaluable support and comfort care options that are woven into hospice care. Ohio’s Hospice seeks to emphasize the vital role of not-for-profit, community-based care in our society.
We believe in the importance of highlighting Advance Care Planning as a fundamental part of this discussion. Click here to learn more.
Courageous Conversations is a call to action.
We urge you to initiate conversations about Advance Care Planning, as well as to explore the dimensions of hospice care and palliative care. Throughout this month, we invite you to engage in discussions with your family members and loved ones, as knowledge and open dialogue can make all the difference in ensuring compassionate and appropriate care at the end of life.
While it may be difficult for individuals to have those courageous conversations about end-of-life care, it’s important to start the conversation. Here are a few questions that you can ask to better understand what your loved one wants at the end of life.
- Who will make decisions for you when you can’t?
- What kind of medical treatment do you want or not want?
- When is it time to start hospice care?
- How do you want to be treated?
- What do you want your loved ones to know?
After you start the conversation with your loved one, you both may have some additional questions. Here are a few questions to consider when you meet with your loved one’s healthcare provider.
- What does advance care planning encompass, and how does it relate to our discussions about hospice care?
- Can you clarify the concept of advance directives, particularly in the context of hospice care?
- Who in our family should think about creating an advance care plan, especially when we’re considering hospice for our loved one?
- What could be the consequences of not having an advance directive in place, particularly when hospice care might be needed?
- Are there any other decisions and documents related to hospice care that we need to address within our advance care planning?
- How should we initiate the process of advance care planning, considering our loved one’s potential needs for hospice care?
- Where can we find the necessary advance directive forms, and are there specific ones related to hospice care we should be aware of?
Do you or your loved one have additional questions about hospice care?
- Where does hospice care take place?
- Does receiving hospice care mean giving up hope?
- Does hospice work with my primary care physician?
- If my condition improves, can I be discharged from hospice care?
- Who pays for hospice care?
For answers to these questions and more, click here.