One of the things that can keep family members and seniors from considering hospice care is that they just don’t know what it takes to really be ready for hospice. The requirements for hospice can help you and your senior to determine if she might be ready.
Your Senior’s Conditions Are Terminal
Whatever health conditions your senior has may have been manageable in the past. Some, like heart disease, may be ones that your elderly family member has always known could get to a point of no return. Part of qualifying for hospice care involves your senior’s health issues to become so bad that her doctor has let her know that they are terminal.
She’s No Longer Interested in Curative Therapies
It’s entirely possible that some or most of your senior’s health issues have been manageable with curative therapies. But some of these curative therapies can be harsh on her system and her mental health. Chemotherapy for cancer is just one example. If your senior has decided that curative treatments for terminal conditions are no longer appealing for her, she may qualify for hospice care.
Her Doctor Has Given Her Six Months or Fewer to Live
Your senior’s doctor may have also given her an idea how long people in her condition tend to live. That’s based on the doctor’s experience with patients as well as collected data about people with her specific health issues. If that timeframe is less than six months, your senior could qualify to get into a hospice care program. There’s a misconception, however, that your senior only gets six months of care. If she does improve slightly and lives longer than that timeframe, her doctor can recertify her for hospice services.
Her Doctor Certifies that She’s Eligible for Hospice
All of these requirements lead to the ultimate criterion for hospice care. Your senior’s doctor needs to certify that she’s eligible for hospice care and that it’s time for her to do so. If your elderly family member changes her mind, that’s perfectly fine, too. She doesn’t have to stick with hospice care if she feels it isn’t right for her. But odds are that she does find it helpful and that she finds her quality of life improving significantly.
Hospice care can be tremendously helpful for your elderly family member and for you as she nears the end of her life. The services that hospice care can bring to your senior easily allow her to come to the close of her days under terms that she prefers, if at all possible.