Hospice provides many comfort services that can significantly benefit patients suffering from life-limiting illnesses. The sooner one can receive these services, the better. The difficulty with hospice is understanding what hospice qualifications a patient must meet. By becoming familiar with the qualifying signs for hospice, services can be provided earlier into the prognoses, allowing the patient to experience the benefits of hospice for a more extended period.
Hospice care is a form of palliative care that focuses on the terminally ill. However, most people who care for seriously ill individuals daily are not doctors and struggle to know if the patient qualifies for more care like hospice. In this blog, we want to help those caregivers learn what signs to watch for, indicating if a patient could be eligible for hospice.
The following list includes some of the significant qualifying symptoms for hospice care. Of course, many more specific symptoms could qualify a person for hospice. However, the general ones below are symptoms that primary care physicians and hospice providers usually initially look for:
- Increased weakness and fatigue
- Unintentional weight loss (10% weight loss over the previous six months)
- Increased hospital visits
- Recurrent infections
- Multiple pressure ulcers
- Frequent falls
- Decreased ability to move and perform daily functions without assistance
- Deteriorating mental status (can be observed through decreasing vocabulary)
- Decreased skin integrity (ex: skin tears)
- Increased uncontrolled pain.
The above list is not comprehensive and should not serve as a method for determining hospice eligibility. Instead, this list should give people a greater understanding of whether they should contact their local hospice provider to see if the patient qualifies.
We hope this blog has helped you learn what qualifications a patient must meet to qualify for hospice. Furthermore, if you have more questions about hospice and the services it can provide, call us today!