Is Hospice Right for You (or your loved one)?
A General Guide to Hospice Eligibility
Often the need for hospice care is not obvious. Oftentimes, the caregiver is too close to the patient to effectively observe and evaluate small symptom changes that are not alarming by themselves, but when combined, they show that the patient is experiencing a decline in their overall health, their level of comfort, and their ability to function. Here are some signs to watch for:
Has the patient:
- Been determined to be in the advanced stages of a chronic illness?
- Been hospitalized or taken to the emergency room several times during the past 6 months?
- Been making more frequent phone calls to physicians?
- Been taking medication to lessen physical pain?
- Been spending most of the day in a chair or bed?
- Fallen several times over the past 6 months?
Needed help from others for:
- Getting out of bed
- Experienced noticeable weight loss?
- Started feeling weaker or more tired?
- Noticed shortness of breath, even while resting?
If you answered 'yes' to four or more of these questions, including the first question, it is likely that the patient qualifies medically for hospice services. Talk to your primary care physician, or contact Sanford Bemidji Home Care and Hospice to discuss your situation with one of our experienced nurses.
Remember that clinical judgment is required in each case.