A time may come when you decide to stop curative treatment if it is very clear that your illness
can't be cured. You will still see your
doctor and get excellent care. And if your condition changes, you can start
curative treatment again. But if your illness is expected to get worse, you may want to plan ahead for that time by talking with your doctor. He or she will be the one to refer you for hospice care.
Hospice care is for people who are close to the end of life and are not likely to live for more than 6 months.
Where would you like to receive care as you are dying?
to think about is where you'd like to receive care. Some people would rather be cared for in a
hospital. Others choose to be cared for at home or in a nursing home.
If you have only a few months left, you may choose to receive care
Hospice services are provided by a team of people that
includes doctors, nurses, and volunteers. The team gives palliative care and
emotional and spiritual support to people near the end of life and to their
families. It may offer practical support like running errands or fixing
meals. You can get hospice care in your home or in a hospice center, hospital,
or nursing home.
The costs are usually covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance. If you don't have any coverage, a hospice will probably work with you and your family to make sure you can receive their services.
What do you and your doctor need to know?
find out that you have a life-threatening disease or condition, talk with your
doctor about the kind of medical care you'd like to receive. Ask a lot of
questions about your illness and the treatments that are available. It can be
helpful to have a friend or family member go to your appointments with you.
When you have decided whether you want palliative care or
curative treatment or both, tell your doctor. Also, share your advance
directive with your doctor.
How do you talk with your loved ones about your end-of-life choices?
It can be hard to talk with your loved ones about death. But it is important to discuss your choices while you can speak for yourself.
Planning ahead will help you and your loved ones make hard decisions when the
Even though it might be awkward or uncomfortable, look
for chances to talk about your end-of-life choices. For example, you could
bring up the subject while you are making out your will. Or you could talk with
loved ones after a visit to the doctor. Family gatherings are another place to
make time to discuss your plans with loved ones.
decide and whenever you decide to talk with loved ones, be sure to put your
wishes in writing. You can always change your mind if your condition or your