How Long is Someone Usually in Hospice? Items to Consider
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We understand that navigating the journey through hospice care can be challenging and sometimes confusing. We know that you and your loved ones are dealing with an emotionally demanding period in your lives, and now, more than ever, you need the support of your 3HC family. But how long is someone usually in hospice? Do you know how long your loved one will receive services?
We’ve tackled these and other important matters including five items to consider when determining how long is someone usually in hospice.
At 3HC, we’ve helped residents from the Triangle to the NC Coast. Through our dedicated team of healthcare workers, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers, we enable you to have precious memories of your time together with your loved one. Not sure if you or your loved one qualifies? Contact us and we’ll be glad to walk you through the process.
How Long Is Someone Usually In Hospice? Consider These Situations
First, let’s review some quick requirements for hospice care. First, to qualify, patients should have a prognosis of six months or less to live. In addition, they should not be seeking any curative treatments.
Because there are a variety of conditions that are managed in hospice, we can’t give a single answer. After all, patients receive comfort care for diseases ranging from kidney failure, to cancer, to COPD.
There are also multiple factors to consider such as when the patient began to seek hospice care and at what stage the disease was when they entered care.
However, among Medicare patients enrolled in hospice, the average lifelong length of stay was 92.6 days, according to information from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
How long is someone usually in hospice? Even though this figure gives an average, you should still consider the following when evaluating the duration of hospice:
The Patient’s Medical Condition
The rate at which an illness progresses is a key element in determining the length of a hospice stay. Certain illnesses may result in a more rapid deterioration, whereas others may evolve at a slower pace. Additionally, the stage of the illness at the time the patient enters hospice care is crucial. Unfortunately, there’s a common misconception that hospice care is only for the final weeks of life, which leads many to not utilize its services. As a result, some patients may only enter hospice care after their disease has significantly advanced.
The Type of Disease
As we mentioned earlier, the progression and type of illness can make a difference. Someone with stage 4 cancer may live longer than someone in the earlier stages of terminal kidney disease.
One misconception is that hospice is only for cancer patients. In actuality, hospice treats those with a variety of illnesses, including:
Changes in Health Status
Some patients may temporarily improve while in hospice, despite not seeking curative treatment. These significant changes—whether their condition has gotten better or suddenly progressed—can affect the amount of time someone is usually in hospice.
What Happens If You Live Longer Than 6 Months In Hospice?
If the patient lives longer than six months, they can continue to receive hospice care. However, they have to have a doctor recertify that they have a terminal illness. Eligibility is reassessed regularly, and care continues as long as the patient’s condition aligns with hospice criteria. This can affect how long someone is usually in hospice.
What Does Hospice Not Tell You?
At 3HC, we’re dedicated to open and honest communication. After all, isn’t that something you would want for your own family? Because we consider you a part of our family, we offer several opportunities for you to ask questions—and we take the time to give you answers. We want you to have as much information as possible to understand how long someone is usually in hospice.
Therefore, we are open and transparent. You will discover that there is no information that we will withhold from you.
Sadly, there are many myths and misconceptions about hospice and that keeps people from getting the services they need. We encourage you to get the facts from reliable sources, and as always, we’re here to help you.
However, we have discovered that there are many things people don’t know about hospice care and may be surprised to learn. Those include:
3HC Has Treated Patients Like Family Since 1981
We understand that choosing the right hospice provider is crucial, and we stand out as a leader, offering compassionate care from the Triangle area to the NC Coast. We believe that the right comfort care can make the final journey of life meaningful for both the patient and loved ones. We want to ensure that every patient receives the care and support they need at the most crucial times of their lives.
For more information, all you have to do is complete a simple form or give us a call at 1-800-692-4442.