Who can receive hospice care?
Hospice care is available to anyone who is terminally ill with a limited life expectancy of six months or less; there are no age restrictions. The patient’s physician and the hospice Medical Director will certify the illness and work together to develop a care plan tailored to a patient’s individual need for pain management and symptom relief. As well as cancer patients, hospice can greatly benefit those people with ALS, renal disease, heart disease, pulmonary disease, neurological disorders and Alzheimer’s disease.
Bereavement counseling is available to friends and family affected by the loss for up to 13 months after the death of a loved one. This support may be provided through phone calls, mailings, grief counseling, art therapy, memorial services and support groups.
Signs that a person may need hospice care:
- Increased or uncontrolled pain
- Progressive weight loss
- Decline in ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs)
- Frequent infections
- Frequent hospital or ER visits
- Increased weakness and/or fatigue
- Withdrawal, confusion, bedbound
- Progressive decline, in spite of curative medical therapies