Does Hospice Always Require Hospitalization?

The concept of hospice care may seem frightening to some people, and this is made even more difficult for those who don’t understand what this type of care is.

If you’re unsure what hospice care is or what it entails, these are some of the most important things to know.

How Do You Get Approved for Hospice Care?

Hospice care requires that a doctor has said the patient is terminally ill with a life expectancy of six months or less if the disease continues to run the course it’s on.  You don’t have to have previously been in the hospital besides your diagnosis.

The main concern is that a doctor states and signs off on the life expectancy and that the patient is notified of it.

What Is Hospice Care?

Hospice care is supposed to be an alternative to hospitalization.  This care focuses on the comfort and life quality of the people in their care and ensures that the caregivers understand their specific needs both medically and physically.

Of course, they’ll still administer medication and offer help with any problems that come up, but they won’t be in a hospital setting.

Difference Between Palliative Care and Hospice Care

A common question that comes up after asking if this is the same as being in a hospital or requiring hospitalization is if this is the same kind of care as palliative care.  Palliative care often begins at diagnosis while treatment is commencing.

On the other hand, hospice care is what’s offered after the disease has run its course and when it’s become clear that the ill person isn’t going to survive what they’ve gone through.

How Long is the Typical Hospice Stay?

Over fifty percent of hospice stays are less than three weeks long.  This doesn’t mean all are this long; 12 to 15% make it past the six-month mark, it depends mostly on what illness they went through, and there’s no real way to predict this unless you’re their doctor.

Because of this timeline being so unclear, many chose to get hospice care at home, which allows patients to get care in a tight space where they can continue to live with pets and loved ones for as long as they can.

When Will Hospitalization Become Necessary?

While caregivers will ensure that hospice patients get their medication and care when necessary, if an emergency happens, like a hard fall or any other unfortunate medical event: the patient will receive hospital care as soon as possible.

There’s a severe need to reduce pain and suffering as much as possible, and that includes ensuring that patients get emergency medical care the moment it’s necessary.

Comfort Is The Most Important Consideration

Beyond all else, the most important thing to keep in mind is the patient’s comfort.

Whether the most comfortable space for them is surrounded by family at home or in a group home where they can be surrounded by people who understand what they’re going for, finding the right hospice care and allowing them to live the remainder of their illness out in as much comfort as possible is vital.

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