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How do you, as a caregiver, properly see to the pain management, security, and comfort of a loved one in the final stages of life especially if your loved one is suffering from dementia? If the answer to that question is that you need help, talk with your loved one about beginning the transition to hospice care. Of course, this change can be frightening for you and your loved one which is why it’s crucial to know when’s the right time to start the conversation.
Caregiving in the Final Stages
Caring for an aging loved one can quickly become a full-time task. Couple this with the emotional toll end of life care can take on family, and the situation becomes even more tricky. One step you can take to help better determine whether hospice care is the next step is keeping a journal of your senior loved one’s day-to-day wellness or suggest your loved one take part in this process. Are they eating? Are they sleeping? What are their pain levels? Track this and look for trends. There are also online applications to help monitor medications you might want to look into. This information will also become very useful as you move forward and begin talking with doctors. Ultimately, your role as a caregiver is to advocate for your loved one and to do that properly, ongoing conversation with them will be important.
Talking to Doctors
In most cases, a patient must be examined by two doctors who agree on a prognosis of six months or less. If your senior loved one is battling a terminal illness, this time gap can close quickly. Stay informed and up to date with doctors. In order to do so, you might need your senior loved one to give you power of attorney so looking into those steps can help. Being granted power of attorney also means you’ll be better able to protect your senior loved one from financial abuse in the case that they are no longer able to make decisions regarding their estate.
Making the Transition
Hospice care is as much about taking care of the family as it is caring for your senior loved one in their final months. So when you begin the search for the right hospice company, utilize resources like HospiceDirectory.org to ensure that the company is certified, has strong reviews, and is ready to meet your family’s specific needs, not to mention, that your senior loved one feels safe and comfortable with the service you’ve chosen together.
Another puzzle to solve might be covering the cost of care. If your senior loved one has Medicare A, they should be covered, and in some states Medicaid also covers hospice care. Most private insurance companies cover hospice as well, but if your loved one doesn’t have private insurance, there are other options for covering hospice costs.
For example, if your senior loved one has a life insurance policy they no longer need, they might consider a life settlement or a viatical. Did you know you can sell your life insurance policy for a greater value than simply surrendering? This extra money can ease the burden on your family as you comfort and care for your aging loved one. Contact Life Settlement Advisors today to learn more.
Download our resource, How to Plan for Healthcare Costs in Retirement, for more information on common age-related health issues, their costs, and how you can pay for the care you need.