Hospice is an invaluable service for patients and their caregivers alike to help manage the physical and emotional pain that comes with terminal illness. However, many people aren’t sure when the right time to enter hospice care is. Please keep reading to learn more about hospice and when hospice is recommended.

Who Qualifies for Hospice?

Hospice professionals specialize in end-of-life care. A terminal illness diagnosis can seem daunting and overwhelming. This is why as soon as you or a loved one receive a terminal diagnosis, you should contact a hospice organization as soon as possible, so you have a team of specialists to help you navigate the journey.

There is no age requirement for hospice. People of all ages are eligible for hospice once a physician certifies they have a life expectancy of six months or less. Another requirement is that the patient forgoes treatment to cure their disease in favor of living their final days out as comfortably and peacefully as possible on hospice.

Goals of Hospice Care

The main goal of hospice care is to make the transition from life to death as comfortable as possible for the patient and their loved ones. This is done through a variety of services, including: 

  • Pain and symptom management 
  • Enhancing quality of life  
  • Supporting family members
  • Bereavement services and grief counseling

How to Start Hospice Care

Anyone can refer someone to hospice, whether a family member, physician, friend, or clergy member. Most patients are referred by healthcare professionals, but anyone can call a local hospice provider and start the process.

Once you have called to begin the process, a hospice nurse will typically visit the patient to make sure they qualify, go over the services the hospice team offers and create an end-of-life care plan.

If you’re ready to start the process, contact our office today.

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