While each patient and family situation is unique, there are
many questions which each family and patient will have to answer.
Questions about the type of care to be provided, the location of
the care, who will provide the care, will hospice services be
used, what services will be accessed, and so on. Denying the
approach of death does not put it off even one day, but it does
cause added grief when important questions are left unanswered
and turmoil results. Honestly recognizing the approach of death,
whenever it may come, allows everyone involved to be better
prepared for its actual arrival. Please take the time to think
about these questions, discuss the issues openly among yourselves
and ask questions from those health care professionals you may
speak with, especially your Attending Physician. You may wish to
use these questions as starting points for open discussion with
1. What is the nature of the terminal illness diagnosed by the
Attending Physician? Specifically, what are the symptoms of this
disease and realistically what symptoms will your loved one be
likely to experience?
3. Have you openly discussed your loved one's wishes about
end-of-life care? If not, why not? And if you find it difficult
to do so, have you spoken with your physician, RN case manager or
a social worker about your concerns?
7. Is it important for your loved one to stay at home with
family till the very end? If so, how many people in your family
or friends are realistically going to be there to help with
caring for him when the need arises?
16. Are you aware of all the services which hospices are
required to provide for your loved one and your family?
22. Is your loved one's Attending Physician someone who
you've known for a lengthy period? Do you know any families
who've had this physician directing end-of-life care for
their loved one?
29. Is your loved one in pain or suffering from various
symptoms right now? If so, what actions has your Attending
Physician taken to alleviate this suffering?
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