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The end-of-life journey is a hard challenge to face, for the terminally ill patient of course but also for anyone close to them. No one wants to face the reality of losing a person they love. Because of this, many people put off the conversation about hospice. Families wait until the very final stage of their loved one’s life to call hospice, not knowing they could have started receiving specialized support much earlier. This can include nursing care, medical supplies and equipment, medications, counseling, and more. Hospice and palliative care services all combine to help improve the patient’s quality of life and manage their pain or other symptoms. More than that, hospice care provides a network of support and compassion during this end-of-life journey. But when is it time to call hospice?

While the decision regarding when to begin hospice is highly personal and differs for every individual, seeking a referral earlier rather than later will help ensure that the end-of-life process is comfortable and dignified. Our hospice care services are completely personalized to each patient and their needs. At Agapé Hospice & Palliative Care, we do all we can to support you and your family whenever you turn to us for help during the end-of-life journey.

Sometimes the decision is obvious of when to call hospice. If you or a loved one has a terminal illness and you have decided to forego further treatment to cure the disease, it’s time to call hospice. Or if your doctor has informed you that any further treatment would be futile, it’s time to call hospice.

However, sometimes the situation is more complex. Such as deciding whether or not the side effects outweigh any potential benefits of further treatment. Or if you suffer from multiple health conditions and managing them all is becoming too difficult. It can be very personal to decide what the best course of action is and it varies for each person.

Keep in mind that some diseases have a clear progression and signs of terminal prognosis but some don’t. The signs aren’t always so explicit. To educate, here are some indications it may be time to call hospice:

  • Chronic physical symptoms of deteriorating health such as recurrent infections, unmanageable pain, nausea, vomiting, or shortness of breath.
  • Frequent hospitalizations or trips to the emergency room.
  • A decline in ability to perform basic daily tasks such as walking, eating, or using the bathroom.
  • A reduced appetite leading to progressive and significant weight loss.
  • Decreased mental function and alertness. Increased and excessive sleep.

Far too many people wait until they are in the midst of a serious illness before thinking about the available options or what type of care they or their loved ones would want. If you are considering hospice care for yourself or a loved one, don’t hesitate to speak with us about end-of-life care planning and options. We are here to discuss how the support of our hospice team can help you and your family. Agapé Hospice & Palliative Care serves the LA and Orange County area of California. Please contact us by calling 213-784-2733 or emailing

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