Planning end-of-life, or hospice, care can be intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be.

Hospice is a care program for the terminally ill. It’s a way to comfort them and their families in the last days and weeks of an individual’s life.

Here’s what to consider when determining if hospice is right for you or a loved one:

  1. Progressive loss of function and increasing weakness: Is your loved one losing weight? Are they losing the ability to care for themselves?
  2. Hospitalization for the same chronic disease repeatedly with worsening symptoms: Have you noticed an increase in emergency room visits, hospitalizations, or physician’s visits?
  3. Medical care is more burdensome than beneficial: Does the individual suffer side effects from treatment without improving overall?
  4. Decline occurs despite treatment: Sometimes, despite everyone’s best efforts, an individual doesn’t respond to treatment.
  5. A decision is made to stop curative treatment: This means comfort, care, and symptom management are the primary focus, rather treatment to cure the disease.

The JRMC team focuses on comfort by controlling pain and other uncomfortable symptoms, so the patient can remain as alert and comfortable as possible in his or her final days.

An individual of any age is eligible for hospice services after a physician determines that the individual’s life expectancy is six months or less. Hospice services are generally covered by Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance plans.

If you or a loved one needs more information, contact Jamestown Regional Medical Center’s Hospice program. Our caregiving team can walk you through your questions, concerns and options. To learn more about hospice, contact JRMC Hospice at (701) 952-4847.