Resources for Living with Illness

Resources for Living with Illness Many people think that hospice is what you do when there is “nothing more” that can be done for an illness. Hospice is the "something more" that can be done for the patient and the family when the illness cannot be cured. It is a concept based on comfort-oriented care. Referral into hospice is a movement into another mode of therapy, which may be more appropriate for terminal care.

That being said….you need good information to be able to make decisions that feel right to you. Knowing what questions to ask is a good place to start. These questions might help you find the answers you need.

Ask your doctor

  • How do you expect my condition to change in the next year?
  • What symptoms might I experience?
  • How might it change my ability to go about my daily routine or care for myself?
  • What are my options for care?
  • What is the purpose of any treatment I am considering?
  • Will it cure my illness or slow it down?
  • Is the treatment focused on managing my symptoms?
  • How will this treatment affect the length of my life? The quality of that time?
  • Will the treatment make me feel sick?
  • Will it cause my pain to increase or decrease?
  • How will it affect other parts of my body?
  • How have other people responded to this treatment?
  • How long will the treatment continue?
  • How will it affect my ability to care for myself?
  • What other treatment choices could I consider?
  • What do my family/friends need to know about my illness and treatment?
  • What kinds of help might be useful? Home healthcare? Hospice care?

Ask yourself

  • What am I most concerned about right now?
  • What about my health is most important right now?
  • What don’t I understand about my illness and treatments?
  • How do my decisions about my care fit with my values and priorities?
  • What about my personal life with family and friends is most important to me?
  • How are symptoms such as pain affecting my daily life?
  • Have I talked with my family, friends and healthcare providers about my wishes?
  • Have I chosen someone to make treatment decisions for me in case I am unable (healthcare surrogate, medical power of attorney)?
  • Have I completed a living will to help my family and healthcare providers follow my wishes?
  • What kind of help do I need right now?

Ask the people who care about you

  • What questions do you have about my illness and treatment?
  • What are you worried about right now?
  • What is most important to you right now?
  • What kind of help or support do you need?
  • If you would have to make treatment decisions for me, would you know what I want?
  • How do you feel about making those decisions?

Bella Care Hospice can offer guidance and support as you adjust to the changes in your life. In addition to a listening ear, we can provide information about services and resources available to help you.