Talking to Your Senior About the Possibility of Hospice Care

Posted: 9/9/2019 8:00 AM by Interim HealthCare

No one wants to think about the end of life. Unfortunately, considering end-of-life care is an unavoidable priority for many family caregivers. Your loved one is counting on you to make the best decisions for their care and comfort. Being honest with yourself and your senior loved one is critical to help you, together, make the best possible decisions.


For those seniors who face chronic, advancing health conditions like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, having these conversations earlier can help provide peace of mind to your loved one that even when he or she is unable to make or communicate regarding decisions, their wishes will be upheld. It will also ease your stress and anxiety as you worry about making difficult decisions during already challenging times. 


One of the most important end-of-life decisions pertains to hospice care.  Hospice care does not focus on healing conditions or ending diseases, but rather on providing relief, support, and comfort as your senior loved one moves through his or her end-of-life transition.


Whether you’ve already spoken to Mom or Dad about hospice care and other end-of-life decisions, or whether you’re broaching the topic for the first time, it’s important to have this difficult conversation.

These tips can help you talk to your senior about hospice care:

Be sure Mom or Dad understands hospice care.

During your conversation, it’s important to be clear about what hospice care is and isn’t for your loved one. Mom or Dad may fear that hospice care means being pushed away or a lack of control. Reassure your loved one that hospice care can be provided at home, and that it aims to provide and preserve quality of life.

Discuss life-sustaining measures

Be sure to discuss your loved one’s wishes regarding artificial, life-sustaining measures. Hospice care does not work in conjunction with measure like life support or other aggressive treatments, so it’s important to discuss alternative transitions as necessary. Keep in mind, this does not pertain to medication or other system-alleviating measures.

Explain the benefits for you

Clearly explain the benefits of hospice care not only to your loved one, but also to you and your family. Hospice care also provides support measures for you to help you cope with the most difficult aspects of this transition. Since many senior loved ones feel like they are a burden to family caregivers, this knowledge can provide extra peace of mind. 

Consider when to start

Hospice care is meant as the final phase of care and support for an elderly adult. Be sure to discuss the signs and stages that signal it’s time for hospice care in advance, so that everyone is prepared when the time comes. 

We can help you provide the best care for your loved one.

You strive to provide Mom or Dad with the highest possible quality of life. Helping your loved one remain as comfortable, healthy, and fulfilled as possible throughout the end-of-life transition is an important priority. With so much stress and so many emotions, it can be challenging to stay focused. Senior hospice care from Interim HealthCare can help provide the critical care your loved one deserves. To learn more, contact your nearest Interim HealthCare location.