We hear it all the time: “We wish we’d called hospice sooner.” Dr. Kelly Erola, chief medical officer, explains that hospice provides for months of care, and why the sooner care begins the better quality of life patients and families can experience.
How Long Can A Patient Receive Hospice Care? Hospice Can Provide Months of Care
Many people think that hospice only serves patients in the last few weeks of life. When considering how long a patient can receive hospice care, remember that in actuality, the truth about hospice is that it is available to the patient and family for months of care.
When a patient has a terminal illness, we find that patients are often referred to hospice too late. By too late we mean that they are referred to hospice in the very last days of life. This perpetuates a myth that hospice is just for the last days of life, which is not true.
In fact, we are frequently asked, ‘How long can a patient receive hospice care?’
How Can You Get the Most Benefit From Hospice?
Hospice is available for the last months of life. To truly benefit from hospice, having months of care is much better than days when you have a serious illness.
So, when should you make the decision to contact us? And how long can a patient receive hospice care? The time to start is when the prognosis is looking like more supportive care is needed and there’s months left, then it’s time to look at hospice.
While hospice does provide support for cancer patients, there are several other diagnoses that can qualify for hospice care.
How Do I Get Hospice Care?
You can talk to your doctor about hospice care, but you don’t have to wait for your doctor. You can call Lower Cape Fear LifeCare yourself and we can help you determine if hospice is the right program for you. You can also “Refer a Loved One” using this form.
What Happens As the Serious Illness Progresses?
One of the biggest questions that we get is what is going to happen as the illness progresses. People start to wonder. Hospice care is very experienced in addressing these concerns and can help explain what’s going on, and answer patients’ questions, concerns, and their worries to help them cope as the illness progresses.
The hospice care team is there to help support the patient and the family, providing pain and symptom management. They also provide spiritual support, volunteer services, chaplain services, if needed, social worker help, and respite services. This team comes to the patient’s home or wherever they call home. This extra layer of support actually helps patients live longer.
What Is the Goal of Hospice Care?
The goal of hospice care is to help the patient live the best quality of life that they can. There are different strategies that the care team can provide to help support the family to manage pain and symptoms. It’s very important to have support for the whole family, not just the patient.
How Long Can a Patient Receive Hospice Care? Lower Cape Fear Life Care Is Ready to Assist You
If you have any questions about hospice care, please call Lower Cape Fear Life Care at 800-733-1476. We are available to discuss the hospice program and how it can truly benefit you and your family for months.