Hospice care is a specialty within health care focusing exclusively on care of the dying and those who love them. Hospice care is for anyone with a life expectancy of six months or less. Our services enhance the care provided by specialists in other areas of medicine. As a health care professional, you play an important role helping individuals under your care and their families make the best choices possible, including hospice care when the time is right.
It can be difficult to determine when an individual is medically appropriate for hospice care. You might ask yourself, would I be surprised if my patient lived longer than six months?
Several signs and symptoms indicate that a patient is medically appropriate for hospice care. The following guidelines can help determine when to make a referral:
- Uncontrolled or chronic symptoms that interfere with quality of life
- Progressive decline in functional capability
- Unintentional, progressive weight loss greater than 10 percent in the past six months
- May have multiple chronic comorbidities
- Dependence on assistance for most cares
- Recurrent infections
- Recurrent ED visits or hospitalizations
- Non-healing wounds
We can help you determine if your patient qualifies for hospice care, or broach the topic with your patients. Contact us, or learn about common conditions and what qualities indicate an individual may be ready for hospice care.