Receiving a terminal diagnosis is devastating for everyone involved. Depending on the circumstances, the patient may or may not be aware and the burden of making end of life decisions may fall squarely on the shoulders of those closest to them. One of these difficult decisions may involve choosing hospice and palliative care for their terminally ill loved ones.
The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM), explains that “Palliative care relieves suffering and improves quality of life for people of any age and at any stage in a serious illness, whether that illness is curable, chronic, or life-threatening…. Hospice is a specific type of palliative care for people who likely have 6 months or less to live.”
According to AAHPM, hospice care is a personal decision once it is realized that there may be some advantages to a better quality of life in these final stages outside of the confines of hospitals and rigorous treatments. If you or your loved one has received a terminal diagnosis of less than 6 months, that would be the basic criteria for hospice care. AAHPM lists the following signs that may help you decide whether to seek hospice care:
- Your illness continues to progress despite several trips to the emergency room to stabilize your condition.
- The same symptoms have forced you to be admitted to the emergency room several times within the past year.
- You no longer wish to spend more time in the hospital and would rather spend your remaining time at home.
- You are no longer receiving treatments to cure your disease.
Your healthcare provider can provide helpful resources to guide you through this process. To schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider at any of our convenient Primary Medical Care Center community clinics, you may visit our website at www.primarymed.com, or call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic, or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic.