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A Person May Qualify for Hospice Care Earlier Than Realized

Hospice care is for any person with a life-limiting illness with a prognosis of six months or less if the disease were to run its normal course. Hospice care is often available much earlier than people realize. When curative treatment is no longer available, hospice can be a tremendous source of emotional and physical support for patients and their families. Quality of life becomes the focus with symptom control, pain management and support for navigating social, emotional and spiritual transitions.

Hospice neither hastens nor prolongs the natural disease process. In fact, participation in hospice has been shown to lengthen life expectancy in some patients. Pain and symptom management, hospitalization rates and patient/family satisfaction improve when patients receive hospice interdisciplinary care.

When having a dialogue with a person about their care, it is helpful to have criteria about hospice guidelines. 

Hospice of the Northwest

The following 10 questions can help determine if a person is eligible for hospice. Has the person: 

  1. Been hospitalized or to the Emergency Room several times in the last six months?
  2. Started needing help from others with any of the following: Getting out of bed, dressing, eating, walking, showering or toileting?
  3. Started feeling weaker, more tired or sleeping more?
  4. Started spending most the day in bed or a chair?
  5. Fallen several times in the last six months?
  6. Noticed shortness of breath with minimal activity or at rest?
  7. Been making more frequent visits to the provider’s office, or now arriving by wheelchair or with family help?
  8. Started medication to lessen pain or shortness of breath?
  9. Experienced any weight loss or worsening appetite?
  10. Been told by a provider that life is limited?

The Hospice of the Northwest Referral Center is available to patients and their loved ones at 360)-814-5550.