When Is It Time for Hospice?
It can be difficult for patients and their families to know when it's time for hospice. However, medical studies show that patients who choose hospice as early as possible for a terminal illness tend to live better and longer lives than those who wait.If four or more of these apply, hospice may be the best answer.
- Physician has given a limited life expectancy (six months or less).
- Several hospitalizations or visits to the emergency room over last six months.
- Increased medication for physical pain.
- Several falls within the last six months.
- Frequent phone calls to physician’s office.
- Majority of day spent in bed or chair.
- Require assistance with two or more of the following: getting out bed, bathing, dressing.
- Noticeable shortness of breath, even at rest.
- Feeling more tired and weaker overall.
- Dramatic weight loss, clothes noticeably looser.