Skip to content

    Health & Balance

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Hospice Care - Considering Hospice Care

    The last stages of a serious illness can be so hard. You may feel like you have lost control over your life and what will happen to you.

    Hospice can help you get back some control by showing you what your options are and helping you make decisions about things that are important to you.

    Recommended Related to Mind, Body, Spirit

    Recharge for the New Year

    By Erinn Bucklan After all the buildup and pressure leading up to the holidays, who doesn’t feel like they need a break during the last week of the year? “This time of year is stressful because of the combination of heightened activity level and heightened expectations,” says James Campbell Quick, professor of leadership and organizational behavior at the University of Texas at Arlington. “For those who have not made time for peace in their lives, this can be a really challenging season.” Use the...

    Read the Recharge for the New Year article > >

    You may want to consider hospice care if:

    • You have a disease or illness that is expected to shorten your life.
    • Treatment that tries to cure the disease or prolong your life has become more of a burden than a benefit to you.
    • You would like to spend your remaining life as comfortably as possible in a setting that you choose, such as your own home.
    • You want family and friends to participate in your care.
    • You want your loved one who has a serious illness to die comfortably at home.

    Some people who might benefit from hospice care don't receive it. Many people, including some health professionals, simply don't know much about it. It can be hard for a doctor to talk to a patient about hospice, because it means talking about the end of life.

    It can also be hard for you and your family to accept that the end of life is near. Some families choose to pursue aggressive medical care up to the end.

    Who is eligible

    Eligibility for most hospice programs is usually based on two main requirements:

    • Your illness can't be cured. This is called a terminal illness.
    • Your doctor expects that you will live 6 months or less if your illness runs its normal course. Typically a form must be signed by your primary doctor as well as the medical director or physician member of a hospice team.

    It can be hard for doctors to know how long a person will live. Some people live longer than expected. If you do live longer than 6 months, you can continue with hospice. If your illness gets better, you can stop receiving hospice care. You may no longer qualify for it.

    Hospice care is generally paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance. Care may also be available to those unable to pay.

    1 | 2 | 3
    1 | 2 | 3
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    woman in yoga class
    6 health benefits of yoga.
    beautiful girl lying down of grass
    10 relaxation techniques to try.
     
    mature woman with glass of water
    Do you really need to drink 8 glasses of water a day?
    coffee beans in shape of mug
    Get the facts.
     
    Take your medication
    Slideshow
    Hand appearing to hold the sun
    Article
     
    Hungover man
    Slideshow
    Welcome mat and wellington boots
    Slideshow
     
    Woman worn out on couch
    Article
    Happy and sad faces
    Quiz
     
    Fingertip with string tied in a bow
    Article
    laughing family
    Quiz