What is Hospice and When is Hospice Appropriate?

It is important to keep in mind that Hospice is focused on caring for, not curing the individual. The treatment that hospice care gives allows those people who are plagued by a terminal illness to determine how and where they would like to spend the rest of their lives.

With that said, you may be wondering where someone could receive hospice care if they need it. Do you have to go somewhere, like to a special facility, or can you get it in your own home or a nursing care or assisted living facility?

The answer is that hospice care is provided in the place or places that best suit the individual needs of the patient and caregivers, such as family or friends. Hospice care can be given at one’s own home, at an assisted living or nursing facility, or in a combination of the two.

Most of us cringe at the thought of our loved ones, or ourselves, one day needing Hospice care. There is certainly an air of negativity that surrounds the program and its care, but whether we are willing to admit it to ourselves or not, there are times where choosing to make use of Hospice care is the most appropriate—as well as humane—thing we can do for those we love.

However, with so much running to and fro that end-of-life care requires, it may be that you have never thought about when the time for hospice is—when you should call in Hospice care. So let’s take a look at a few things and see when it may be the right course of action.

Calling in Hospice care is most appropriate when:

  • A diagnosis of a terminal illness has been received, the life expectancy is six months or less and any cure-oriented treatment is no longer a viable option. Calling in Hospice care is appropriate when a person’s quality of life is the top priority.
  • Either you or your family member(s) desire to receive only comfort measures.
  • Either you or your family have noticed that you (or another family member) have lost weight and had a decreased appetite as well.
  • You (or your loved ones) no longer want to be put in the hospital or treated in the Emergency Room.
  • You (or your loved ones) are not bouncing back to your normal level of functioning after suffering from repeated illnesses.

It’s important to remember that both Medicare and Medicaid cover Hospice care 100%. Also, many private insurances will also give hospice coverage.

As you can see, while Hospice care may not be someone’s go-to choice, sometimes it has to be. After all, no one wants to see the ones they love hurting or suffering at the end of their lives. Hospice can help to give those you care about both the quality and dignity that both they and you desire for end-of-life care. If you’re still having trouble rationalizing it, it may help to remember that you are not alone in having to make tough choices for someone you love. People all across the country (and the world) are put in the same positions and faced with the same decisions as you. It can be tough, and it usually is, but sometimes it can help just to know that you aren’t facing things alone.