When A Loved One Resists Hospice

when a loved one resists hospice

There are many reasons people are resistant to hospice care, but reasons typically fall into one of three categories: fear of death/dying, difficulty accepting treatments are not working, or misunderstandings about what hospice is or what we do.

Common Reasons One Resists Hospice And How To Support Them

As hospice care providers, our primary goal is to serve the client. Serving the family and close loved ones is a very close second. However, we can’t do our job without a client’s willingness to explore our services and take advantage of the benefits we offer.  That is unfortunate because in almost all cases, the thoughts, “we need extra help,” “should we think about hospice (or palliative care),” or “I don’t want to live like this anymore,” are all signs that it’s time for hospice care. That said, your helpful brochures, pressing information/research, or pleas may fall on deaf ears if your spouse, partner, or family member is resistant to hospice.  In that case, it’s important to remain compassionate, patient, and curious about WHY they resist. Here are some of the most common reasons people resist hospice and how you may be able to support their shift into considering it.

They equate hospice with dying or giving up

This is one of the biggest reasons individuals or their spouses/partners are resistant to hospice. Hospice does not mean you are giving up or that death is imminent (although the longer you wait, the more likely the latter will become true).  In fact, hospice means you have a terminal or chronic illness/condition with a prognosis of six months or less if the disease runs its course or the client experiences disease complications. That said, quality of life often improves so much that many clients have hospice for many months or even upwards of a year or more after ceasing curative treatments. Flip the script: Acknowledging and preparing for the end-of-life is essential for every adult, especially those with chronic or terminal conditions. Learning all you can about end-of-life care options, including palliative and hospice services, is empowering and helps clients and families make the right decisions to improve their quality of life sooner rather than later.  Hiding your head in the sand means missing out on making the most of the time you have left. If someone fears death or struggles to speak about end-of-life, hospice social workers, counselors, and chaplains are available anytime to work through these conversations with open and empathetic awareness.

They are afraid to admit treatments aren’t working OR treatments are making life worse and not better

There are only so many treatments or medical procedures can do to heal, provide relief, or make things better. In many cases, a chronic condition overcomes a treatment’s ability to heal or help. At that point, the treatment or rigor of the appointments necessary to provide treatment becomes exhausting and debilitating. This wall can be crippling for some patients, but their unwillingness to accept the beginning of the last chapter of their life means they refuse any palliative care or hospice services. Shift the focus: Instead of forcing acceptance about end-of-life issues, talk about taking a much-needed break to regroup, reassess, and make decisions that align with their values and perceptions of quality of life. Hospice can come on board to provide the support necessary during that reprieve and wise counsel – and patients can go back off hospice to resume treatments – or pursue new treatments – whenever they choose.

Resists hospice because they’ve fallen prey to hospice myths

 Hospice myths abound. Some of the most common hospice myths that make people resistant to hospice are:
  • We can’t afford it. In fact, hospice is 100% free to all qualifying patients, regardless of age or economic status. It is paid for by Medicare, although private insurance benefits may also cover hospice services. We’ll help you do everything required to bring hospice to your home, hospital/assisted living facility, or our hospice house.
  • It’s only for people on Medicare. Similarly, many believe they have to be on Medicare to get hospice care. However, Medicare pays for hospice services for anyone who is a legal U.S. citizen or resident, whether they’re currently on Medicare or not. Once you qualify for hospice service, which occurs during an assessment by a hospice physician and intake team, you qualify for Medicare’s hospice coverage.
  • I’m not close enough to dying yet. The longer qualifying clients are on hospice the better. Studies show that while most people wait too late to contact hospice (in the last week or days of life), clients’ quality of life and their life expectancy improves drastically by enlisting hospice care sooner rather than later. Our services provide tremendous relief and peace of mind, which makes the day-to-day more comfortable, stress-free, and meaningful for clients and loved ones.
Other common hospice myths that keep people from contacting hospice when they should are: Choose to be informed: The best thing you can do to help someone see outside of these common myths or hospice resisting narratives is to get them accurate information. Hospice and palliative care agencies are happy to meet with you at any time to discuss their services and how they can support you. Personalized care is our highest priority. And, as mentioned above, the client is always in control.

Having A Hard Time Opening The Conversation Around Hospice?

If you’re having a hard time opening the conversation around hospice care or end-of-life care, we’re here to help in any way we can. The staff at Hospice of the Golden Isles is passionate about educating the public and making sure they understand the numerous and invaluable benefits of choosing hospice care as soon as you possibly can. Contact us to learn more, at 912-265-4735, or to schedule a consultation.

Disproving 10 Hospice Myths

disproving 10 hospice myths

Clients and families entrusted hospice with their care know that the services were invaluable. From the relief of having 100% of your care and equipment brought into the home to the comprehensive support services (grief support, volunteers, spiritual guidance/reassurance, etc.), we are here to improve the quality of life for clients.

Don’t Let These 10 Hospice Myths Block The Care You Deserve

However, these 10 hospice myths often block people’s willingness to contact hospice in time to provide the incredible support we’re capable of when we have more time to spend with clients and families.

Hospice means you’re giving up

We have great respect for the medical and healthcare industries. However, physicians, surgeons, and specialists are trained to fix things and are less trained or prepared to support patients when things can no longer be fixed. This means hospice is often viewed as “giving up,” and families don’t have the opportunity to talk about hospice until death is on the immediate horizon.  As a result, patients wind up participating or desperately clinging to treatments that won’t work or that diminish their quality of life for the time they have left. Hospice does not mean you are giving up; it means you want to optimize the quality of life for yourself and family members as you create end-of-life plans that honor your values and wishes.

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Hospice of the Golden Isles Announces New Advisory Council in Camden County

June 6, 2022 (Camden County, Ga.) – Hospice of The Golden Isles (HGI) announces the formation of its Camden County Advisory Council. Seven founding members met at the inaugural meeting hosted by Southeast Georgia Regional Health System, Camden Campus. The advisory council will work with the board and staff leadership at Hospice of the Golden Isles to help develop a plan to better engage with and serve the residents of Camden County who are facing serious advanced illnesses and need end-of-life care and support. The council will provide guidance and insight into the community’s needs for end-of-life medical care, support for grief and loss, caregiving support, and assistance with advanced care planning. One of the goals of the work of the council is to help HGI staff and volunteers raise awareness of the resources offered by HGI and how to access the services in Camden County.

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Preparing For The Passing Of A Loved One

preparing for the passing of a loved one

Preparing for the passing of a loved one may start the moment they receive a terminal diagnosis. In some cases, preparing for a person’s death takes place as the result of a sudden accident, unplanned accident, or as the reality sinks in that the end is near due to old age or the slow progression of a chronic condition. Whatever the case, setting the sacred tone for the passing of a loved one occurs in two parts. 

The first part is dedicated to honoring a dying loved one’s comfort, ease, and well-being to the best of your ability. The second part is the self-care you practice as you give yourself and others the time needed to feel and express emotions and to feel nourished and rested for the days, weeks, or months ahead.

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How To Start The Conversation About Hospice Care

how to start the conversation about hospice care

Hospice care improves the quality of life for patients, families, and caregivers. However, individuals often wait too long to have the conversation, reducing their chances of having full access to hospice’s full-spectrum support services. Studies show that the sooner qualifying patients receive hospice care, the longer they live, and the richer their lives become. 

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Signs It’s Time For Hospice Support

7 signs its time for hospice support

If we had our way, clients would contact hospice agencies and begin learning more immediately after receiving a terminal prognosis or diagnosis. Hospice is an incredible organization. Our services are completely free of charge, covered by Medicare, and provide a well-rounded net of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual support that goes far beyond the clinical care realm.

Did you know that in addition to living longer and with a higher quality of life, hospice services also extend to your family? We take a whole-family approach to caregiving and it’s never too early to learn more about what we have to offer, so you’re ready to move forward with our services when you’re ready.

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Questions To Ask To Prepare Your End Of Life Plan

questions to ask to prepare your end of life plan

One of the biggest commonalities between nearly all of our hospice clients, particularly those that are 70 years old or younger, is the shock that they have an end of life prognosis. While we all know we’re going to die someday, most of us think of that someday as far into the future. This means our culture isn’t preparing for the end of life the way it should be.

It’s never too early to begin your end of life plan. Doing so eases the way for yourself and your family, and it helps you to live the best quality of life while you can.

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What Is End Of Life Care?

what is end of life care

End of life care is an umbrella term covering all of the ways we hope to be cared for and supported when we’re nearing and at the end of our lives. For those who are diligent about long-term-care planning, end of life care begins with completing advanced medical directives, ensuring your wishes are honored in various, unpredictable medical situations. It continues on to consider the types of treatment or support you’d prefer as age- or health-related declines make it impossible to care for themselves.

In a culture that focuses more on medical treatments than quality end of life care, this term is quickly distilled to the question of palliative care or hospice? If you’re in an immediate healthcare crisis, that’s where you should start. Otherwise, feel free to scroll down to the section “It’s Never Too Early to Begin Thinking About End of Life Care.”

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Hospice Is For The Family, Too!

hospice is for the family too

Those of us who work in hospice are passionate about what we do because we witness every day how our services improve the quality of life for both patients and families. That’s right; hospice services are designed to support the entire family unit – not just the client. 

7 Ways Hospice Is For The Family And How They Benefit

If you are in the process of deciding whether you or a loved one would benefit from hospice or palliative care services, read Tips on Choosing a Hospice (or palliative) Care Provider  Once you’ve signed up for hospice service (which is funded by Medicare, utterly free of charge, for patients of all ages), your family is immediately supported by a team of compassionate professionals dedicated to providing as much peace of mind and quality of life as possible.  Here are seven of the most important ways families benefit from hospice. 

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The Difference Between Clinical And Peer Grief Support

the difference between clinical and peer grief support

Joining a grief support group or seeking individual grief support is a powerful way to learn more about grief, how it affects you in your daily life, and process your grief to move forward in a more balanced way. 

When you begin searching for grief support, you’ll have two available options. The first is to enlist the help of a clinical grief therapist. The other is to join a peer grief support group or one-on-one peer grief support help. This post clarifies the difference between the two, so you can determine which one feels like the best fit for you at this moment.

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Hospice of the Golden Isles.
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912.265.4735 | toll-free at 866.275.6801
1692 Glynco Parkway | Brunswick, GA 31525
501(c)(3) non-profit organization | License #GA063007H
Privacy Policy 
Copyright ©2020 Hospice of the Golden Isles.
All rights reserved.

Members United Way of Coastal Georgia
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National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Member