Making the transition into hospice care easier

Redlands Community Hospital Experts Offer Checklist of Things to Remember During Loved Ones’ Difficult Time

REDLANDS, Calif. –During hospice care, families, friends and neighbors, along with a team of healthcare professionals do their best to comfort a terminally ill loved one. Hospice care is a special healthcare choice for patients and families faced with a terminal illness. Unfortunately, many terminally ill patients never receive hospice care; often those who do, enroll very close to the time of death, says Gerry Smith, director of Home Health and Hospice Services at Redlands Community Hospital.

“Because many people wait until the final stages of their disease to enter the hospice program we believe the patient and the family as a whole receive fewer benefits from the services hospice care offers,” adds Smith. “Regardless of this fact, hospice care specialists strive to make the transition as smooth as possible, meeting with families at their convenience to explain the program.” Our belief is that quality of life is as significant as length of life. Meeting the needs of the patient and loved ones is a top priority for Redlands Community Hospital Hospice.

“Redlands Community Hospital hospice care professionals offer a checklist of things to consider when making the choice for transition to hospice care. The checklist is meant to be used only as a reference because individual and family hospice care needs will vary,” adds Smith. We encourage patients and families to have a discussion with their physician about end-of-life care before they are faced with a life limiting illness. It is easier to make a decision prior to being faced with a crisis.

When is it time to contact hospice?

  • As early as possible
  • If your physician has given you a life expectancy of 6 months or less
  • You have a chronic condition that is considered in the “end stages”, such as heart failure, chronic lung disease
  • You have cancer, and treatment is no longer an option; or you have chosen to stop treatment
  • When an individual has; decreased cognitive functioning, decrease in ability to communicate, decrease in physical functioning (ADL), or a decrease in nutrition (weight loss)
  • When there is a need for professional support in caring for a terminally ill loved one

For more information on the Redlands Community Hospital Hospice Services, please visit our website at www.redlandshospital.org or call (909) 335-5500.

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Redlands Community Hospital is a Not For Profit, Stand-alone Hospital.