It’s often confusing for both caregivers and for seniors as to when it’s time to go the hospice route. If your elderly family member has heart disease, she will most likely get a recommendation about hospice elder care from her cardiologist. These are some of the issues that factor into that recommendation.
Your Senior’s Illness Limits Her Life
Lots of chronic illnesses have a big impact on your senior’s life and her ability to continue to do what she needs and wants to do. Heart disease in particular can begin suddenly limiting her life to an intense degree. Even getting out of bed in the morning can be a little more activity than she can handle for the day. Hospice services can help her to manage that change in her circumstances.
She’s Declining Even More
People with advanced heart disease can suddenly experience a bigger decline in their overall health and well-being. When that happens, your senior might become more afraid about what’s in her future. It can even cause her to experience feelings she’d been managing well up until that point, like anger and frustration. She may also become depressed.
She’s Weaker and Weaker
Maintaining her strength may become much more difficult than your senior expects. That can also start to happen a lot sooner than she expects. The strains that her body and her heart are experiencing can cause not only increasing weakness, but also fatigue. This can be discouraging for her and for you, because it often means that she’s closer to the later stages of heart disease.
Other Symptoms Are Getting out of Control
Your elderly family member might also be experiencing other symptoms that worsen as her health worsens. She might have chest pain even when she’s resting, for instance, or increased edema in her feet and legs. She could also experience trouble breathing or problems swallowing or thinking clearly. These symptoms can be terrifying for both of you, especially if your aging family member has experienced heart attacks or strokes in the past.
Understanding when it’s time for hospice elder care providers to take over can feel difficult for you as a caregiver. You might be trying to make sure that it’s not too soon or that your senior isn’t giving up on treatments that might still work. But hospice services can still do so much for your aging family member, even with advanced heart disease.
If you or an aging parent are considering hospice elder care in Bensalem, PA, please contact the caring staff at Serenity Hospice today. Call (215) 867-5405.