Topic: When is it time to call Hospice?
I've read often that Hospice agencies say you should be involved with Hospice as soon as you know you have a terminal condition. I don't know about that - we all have a terminal condition and will die sometime due to some cause! Really though, it's been 10 months since my diagnosis and I've lived a close to normal life. But things are getting a little harder to handle in the pain department so I'm just curious. From what I have read, most people call in hospice when a patient has days or weeks left as a prognosis or if they have pain that is completely uncontrolled.
I think right now, my pain can be managed by my oncologist and prescriptions I can take at home, but I'm wondering if there is any other benefit to involving Hospice in your care early? I certainly don't expect to require end of life intensive care for awhile. And my oncologist hasn't mentioned the need for referal to Hospice, either.
There is a certain stereotype that Hospice has that makes you believe that they are only called in when a situation is dire and that death is imminent. I have heard/seen a lot of radio and TV ads recently advising patients to seek Hospice care early and as soon as they receive the news of a terminal illness.
Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see what else a Hospice agency could do for me right now other than look at my pain relief and I think my Oncologist is doing a good job of staying on top of that. Any feedback from patients or caretakers on this?