Signs it might be time for hospice.
Heart disease is a patient’s greatest health threat. Happiness and emotional vitality can help lower the risk of Heart Disease. Patients are considered to be in the terminal stage of heart disease when they have a life expectancy of six months or less. Only a doctor can make a clinical determination of congestive heart failure life expectancy. However, the earlier doctor-patient conversations about treatment options take place, the quality of life for a patient can be improved. Hospice of Central Ohio can help.
Look for these common signs that the disease has progressed to a point where all involved would likely benefit from hospice services:
- Even when resting, symptoms are significant.
- The patient has advanced congestive heart failure or advanced coronary disease with frequent episodes of angina (chest pain resulting from insufficient supply of blood and oxygen to the heart).
- The patient has an abnormal heart due to disease and suffers significant symptoms of fatigue, shortness of breath or functional decline.
- You or your loved one have other health issues like renal insufficiency or pulmonary (lung) disease.
- You or your loved one’s heart medication is no longer effective in managing symptoms.
- Optimal treatment for the patient’s condition has already been provided and he or she is not a candidate for further surgical or medical intervention.
- You or your loved one is ready to seek “aggressive comfort care” instead of aggressive treatment.
People often say, “I wish we had chosen hospice sooner”. Reports show early referral to hospice results in greater satisfaction for patients and their caregivers. Given more time, Hospice of Central Ohio can do so much for patients and their families; we have the resources to supplement the care provided by doctors and loved ones throughout the last six months of a patient’s life.
What can hospice do for a patient with heart disease?
Your hospice team evaluates the patient’s status and updates the plan of care as symptoms and conditions change. Our goal is to relieve physical and emotional distress so patients can live as fully as possible, retain their dignity and remain comfortable wherever they call home.
The hospice plan of care treats a wide range of symptoms, including:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Weakness and fatigue
- Functional decline
Your hospice care team is educated and experienced in advanced cardiac care, focusing on your plan of care to provide a personalized care experience:
- We monitor and manage your symptoms.
- We communicate with your cardiologist’s office to intervene early and stabilize worsening conditions.
- We provide medication, oxygen and other medical equipment related to your heart disease.
- We provide services to reduce acute symptoms and avoid re-hospitalization.
What can hospice do for the family of a person with heart disease?
Family members may have to make difficult healthcare and financial decisions, act as caregivers and provide emotional support to others. Hospice of Central Ohio offers comprehensive services for families of patients with heart disease:
- Caregiver support and education – We know how difficult it can be to be a caregiver to a loved one. We relieve families’ concerns by educating them on how best to care for their loved one and provide coping skills.
- Help with difficult decisions – Hospice can help patients and caregivers navigate through the difficult decisions and understand their options available that impact the patient’s condition and quality of life.
- Nursing assistance available 24/7 – Even the most experienced caregivers will have questions and concerns. After hours, we will be available to answer questions or dispatch a member of the team to the bedside if needed.
- Emotional and spiritual assistance – Hospice meets the needs of loved ones along with those of the patient.
- Financial assistance – Although hospice is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers, families may have other financial concerns brought about by their loved one’s extensive illness. Social workers can assist families with financial planning during hospice care.
- Respite care – There are times when caregivers require relief from the duties and responsibilities of providing care for the patient. Hospice of Central Ohio offers patients and families the option of respite care through our community partnerships.
- Bereavement services – Bereavement services can begin as early as admission and follow throughout the illness and after death, and is offered to the community at no charge. There is no right way to grieve, but Hospice of Central Ohio can help friends and family members cope with their feelings and learn to express themselves in a healthy, healing manner.