When Is It Time for Hospice?
A patient is eligible for hospice care when his or her physician acknowledges the patient
- Is in the advancing stages of a terminal illness
- Has a life expectancy of six months or less
- Is no longer seeking curative treatment
Primary diagnoses that should be considered for hospice care include
- Alzheimer’s disease
- ALS/Parkinson’s disease
- End-stage lung, cardiovascular, liver or renal diseases
- End-stage diabetes
- End-stage AIDS
- Failure to thrive
WHEN TO CALL STA-HOME
The patient and the family should always feel free to ask the physician, other healthcare professionals, clergy, or friends about hospice care. Anyone can refer a patient to a hospice program and the patient always has the right to choose his or her own hospice provider.
A patient can begin receiving hospice benefits when the patient’s physician and a hospice’s physician Medical Director certify that the patient’s life expectancy is approximately six months or less, curative treatments are no longer effective and treatment options are geared toward pain and symptom management.
Ideally, hospice care should begin while there is still time for a patient to identify and pursue still attainable goals. Sta-Home’s hospice team is trained to help terminally ill patients pursue activities to help reach those goals.