It is a common misconception that hospice care is only for patients who have reached a stage of extreme debilitation. The indicators of in-home hospice eligibility can be subtle and easily overlooked. It is often the overlapping of many smaller factors that point a patient’s prognosis toward hospice qualification.
Not improving after a fall or health decline, even with surgery, therapies or other interventions
Needing increased assistance with activities of daily living such as walking, getting in and out of bed or a chair, dressing, bathing, feeding and/or toileting
Increased dependency of supportive devices, like needing a wheelchair instead of a walker or using a bedside commode instead of a toilet
Adapting the usual environment because of fatigue, balance or weakness issues, like always sleeping in a recliner instead of the bed or holding onto walls when walking
Unintentional weight loss or gain
Decreased appetite or difficulty swallowing
Multiple hospitalizations or ER visits
Recurrent falls or recent hip fracture
New or worsening wounds that won’t heal
New use of an assistive device such as cane, walker or wheelchair
New or worsening incontinence
Decreased communication or change in socialization behavior
A significant emotional event such as death of a spouse or a change in home setting
New or worsening mental or cognitive function
Why Choose Hospice Sooner?
Research indicates that hospice care improves symptom distress, care quality, caregiver outcomes, patient and family satisfaction. Hospice care data is associated with improved quality of life and longer survival rates.