Most of us prefer comfort to any level of discomfort. As our bodies begin to fail, whether from age or disease, comfort, quality of life, dignity and time with loved ones should become our top priorities. No one is ever glad to hear that the focus needs to shift from curing to caring, but in many cases, for people of many ages and stages, that time does come. Naturally, it can bring sadness, disbelief, and even, anger.
If you or someone you love has been ill and has recently been in and out of the hospital, with no real improvement in their condition, it might be a sign that it is time to change the focus to comfort and quality of life. If you or someone you love has been able to control symptoms associated with an illness for a period of time, but recently it has taken frequent medication or dosage changes to affect control, it might be a sign that it is time to change the focus to comfort and quality of life. Perhaps they have even expressed a desire not to return to the hospital – to be able to remain at home surrounded by the life they have built over the years. Perhaps we need to listen.
Choosing hospice does not mean that it is time to give up or lose hope. It is simply a time to shift gears and concentrate our energies on living every moment, enjoying the people we love and the life we have.