Hospice is specialized healthcare focusing on pain and symptom management of life-limiting illnesses. Care focuses on the aggressive treatment of the illnesses’ effects. To be eligible for hospice care:
- An individual must be diagnosed with any life-limiting illness, which may include cancer, heart disease, lung disease, kidney/liver failure, stroke, coma, ALS, or dementia/Alzheimer’s to name a few.
- A physician must agree that the individual has a life expectancy that is limited by the illness and must agree to manage the individual’s care while receiving hospice services.
In addition to being diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, individuals appropriate for hospice care may be experiencing any of the following:
- Significant, ongoing weight loss
- Pain requiring increasing doses of pain medication
- Difficulty with daily activities requiring more assistance
- Increasing emergency room visits, hospitalizations and physician office visits
- Multiple complex medical conditions