When is it time for hospice?
- A person does not have to be bedridden or in their final days of life to receive hospice care. It is most beneficial when the patient and family can receive care early to take advantage of the many benefits hospice care can offer. It can be used for months, as long as medical eligibility is met.
Hospice should be considered when:
- There is a significant decline in physical and/or cognitive status despite medical treatment. This may include increased pain or other symptoms, substantial weight loss, extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, or weakness.
- The goal is to live more comfortably and forego the often physically debilitating treatments that have been unsuccessful in curing or halting a life-threatening illness.
- Life expectancy is 6 months or less, according to physicians.
- The person is in the end stage of Alzheimer’s or dementia.