Hospice is a program of care that provides comfort and support for persons with life-limiting conditions as well as their families. Hospice forgoes most diagnostic testing and life-prolonging treatments, instead aiming to make the person comfortable and relieve their symptoms and pain for the length of their illness.
Receiving hospice services does not mean an individual is imminently dying. Being on hospice means a person wants to have the best quality of life for as long as he/she is able. It means a person wants to be able to enjoy family, accomplish goals, and enjoy life while they are living!! It’s about how they LIVE!!
An individual is generally admitted to hospice when it is determined their life expectancy is approximately 6 months if the disease continues on its normal course. This does not mean that care will only be provided for 6 months. Hospice can continue to be provided as long as the physician and the hospice team certifies that the patient’s condition is declining and remains life-limiting.
Studies have shown, patients often improve once under hospice care, whether temporarily or for a longer period of time. If the patient’s condition dramatically improves and stabilizes, the patient can be discharged from hospice. If his/her condition again declines, hospice care can again resume at that later time.