Making the decision to benefit from hospice is one that isn’t taken lightly. We encourage you to talk openly with the personal physician to discuss the patient’s history, current physical symptoms and life expectancy. Hospice coverage is intended for individuals that have been diagnosed with a life-ending illness and where a “cure” is no longer the primary focus.
Generally, hospice is appropriate for patients in the last six months of their life. However, it’s important to understand that hospice provides services as needed as long as the eligibility criteria remains valid and the patient continues to decline.
Look for signs that the patient could meet the medical guidelines for hospice including:
- Decline in health in spite of curative medical therapies
- Progressive weight loss
- Decline in the ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs)
- Walking – or otherwise getting around the home or outside. Also known as “ambulating”
- Feeding – as in being able to get food from a plate into one’s mouth
- Dressing and grooming – selecting clothes, putting them on, and managing their personal appearance
- Toileting – getting to and from toilet, using it appropriately and cleaning oneself
- Bathing – washing face and body in the bath or shower
- Transferring – being able to move from bed to chair, or to a wheelchair. Can also be the ability to stand up from a bed or chair in order to grab walker or other assistive device.
- Increased weakness and/or fatigue
- Withdrawal, confusion or bedbound
- Increased or uncontrolled pain
- Increased skin problems
- Increased hospitalizations or ER visits
- Recurring Infections: Pneumonia, UTI or Upper respiratory
If you have any questions on whether hospice is appropriate for you or your loved one, feel free to call us at (844) 395-4694. We’re here to help you!