Things to Do When a Loved One Refuses Hospice Care

Nurse holding patient's hands

It is not unusual for a patient suffering from a terminal illness to resist signing up for hospice care. When this happens, the family is caught in the middle, not knowing what to do. It is hard to give your loved one palliative care if they do not want it. If this dilemma faces you, here are some steps to take:

Listen to the patient’s point of view

You will not make much progress without listening to the patient’s concerns. Ask them what they feel about palliative care in Indiana. Do not judge them. Just listen and then try to understand their feelings.

Ask why they are uncomfortable with hospice care

If the patient hasn’t expressed reasons for refusing hospice care, ask her why. Do not try to argue with them. Listening carefully will help you get a glimpse of their views. The concerns might be myths and misconceptions.

Validate their emotions

Let the patient understand that you know that hospice care is a big decision. Tell them that it is all right to feel overwhelmed and frightened. Do not push the patient to accept it, but let them know that you understand that they have the right to refuse.

Gently offer reassuring facts

After understanding the reasons for the resistance, you can now start providing information about palliative care. For instance, if they fear that hospice care will quicken their death, inform them that research has proven that people under hospice care live longer than those who don’t receive palliative care. Be gentle and patient while at it.

Everyone has the right to receive hospice care, but it should be their choice. Most patients resist palliative care at first, but when they understand the benefits, they are open to it. As a family member of the patient, the best you can do is to be there for them.