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Hospice Care

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Hospice Care

(888) 780-8815

2245 North Bank Drive

Columbus, OH 43220

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When To Start Hospice

Most people that put off hospice say they are not dying and don’t need hospice.  They unfortunately don’t realize all of the services that could make their life easier. Once you see how many services are available with the Hospice Benefit, you will.

In addition to the included services, starting hospice early often give patients more time. You can focus on quality of life and enjoying time, sharing memories, say goodbyes, get your affairs in order and doing more while you worry less.

Another advantage of hospice care is that it releases healthcare professionals, caregivers and families of the crises, stress and challenges of increasingly challenging symptoms and situations.

A Specialist is Ready to Help You! 614-457-6950

Wondering when to begin hospice services? Here are three questions that can help you decide if it is time to start hospice:

1. Are you facing one of these life-limiting diseases or conditions?

  • Cancer
  • Cardiac and circulatory diseases (CHF)
  • Dementia/Alzheimer’s
  • Respiratory diseases (COPD)
  • Stroke
  • Kidney/Liver diseases
  • ALS
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Immune disease

2. Is the client or loved one showing these signs of decline?

The following factors are good indicators that it’s time for hospice:

  • A doctor has certified the client has six months or less to live if the condition/disease follows its normal course.
  • Curative treatments (medications, chemotherapy, rehab, etc.) are no longer effective or create side effects that prolong suffering, discomfort and pain.
  • The patient has decided to stop testing, hospitalizations and treatments in favor of palliative care.
  • The client is increasingly unable to perform the activities of daily living (personal hygiene, dressing, eating, maintaining continence, transferring).
  • Over 4–6 months, the client has experienced any of these:
    • Loss of 10% or more of body weight
    • More than 3 hospitalizations or emergency room visits
    • Presence of other co-morbid conditions
    • Declining physical activity
    • Declining mental alertness/cognition

3. Have you taken the client’s wishes into consideration?

A client’s preferences for end-of-life treatment will be spelled out and easy to follow if they have an advanced care plan (ACP). This includes a living will, durable power of attorney for healthcare, or (in some states) a Five Wishes document. If the client has made it clear that certain procedures or interventions should or should not be pursued in the face of a life-limiting illness, the hospice team can craft a care plan that honors the client’s wishes while focusing on the quality, not the quantity, of time that remains.

If you have questions about hospice appropriateness, contact the admissions department of a local hospice. The staff should be able to answer questions or send a clinician to evaluate the client and meet with the family at no cost. Aided by this information, you’ll have a better sense of when the time is right for hospice care.

Who is Eligible for Hospice Care?

For the client to be eligible for hospice, consider the following guidelines:

  • The illness is terminal (a prognosis of six months or less) and the client and/or family has elected palliative care.
  • The client has a declining functional status as determined by either:
    • Palliative Performance Scale (PPS) rating less than or equal to 50%-60%
    • Dependence in three of six Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
    • The patient has an alteration in nutritional status, e.g., more than 10% loss of body weight over last four to six months
  • The client has an observable and documented deterioration in overall clinical condition in the past four to six months, as manifested by at least one of the following:
    • Three or less hospitalizations or ED visits
    • Decrease in tolerance to physical activity
    • Decrease in cognitive ability
    • Other comorbid conditions

These guidelines—provided as a convenient tool and not as a replacement for a physician’s professional judgment—help physicians determine when their clients meet clinical guidelines for hospice eligibility for life-limiting illnesses.

Ready to Get Started?
Call a Specialist Now! 614-457-6950

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