PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

When should you switch to hospice care for your loved one?

ANSWER

When your loved one's health care team recognizes that he or she is likely within six months of dying, they may recommend switching to hospice, a more specialized care for people with a terminal illness who are expected to die. Your loved one will still get treatment for pain relief and comfort, but hospice also offers emotional and spiritual support for them as well as you and close family.

SOURCES:

Philip Higgins, MSSW, LICSW, director of palliative care outreach, Adult Palliative Care Service, Dana Farber/Brigham & Women's Cancer Center, Boston.

Ursula Braun, MD, MPH, director, in-patient palliative care unit, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Houston; assistant professor of medicine and medical ethics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.

Jennifer Clark, MD, professor of palliative medicine, departments of internal medicine and pediatrics, University of Oklahoma College of Community Medicine, Tulsa.

Andrea Holtzer, RN, palliative care nurse coordinator, St. Mary's Hospital, Amsterdam, NY.

Carol Lovci, RN, MSN, VP, long-term care and special services, San Diego Hospice and The Institute of Palliative Medicine, San Diego.

Byock, I. , Riverside Books, 1997. Dying Well

Hospice Foundation of America. , revised, 2007. The Dying Process: A Guide for Caregivers

Karnes, B. , Barbara Karnes Books Inc., 1986. Gone From My Sight: The Dying Experience

Lynn, J. , Oxford University Press, 1999. Handbook for Mortals

Hallenbeck, J. , May 11, 2005. Journal of the American Medical Association

Lynn, J. , Jan. 15, 1997. Annals of Internal Medicine

Morrison, S.R. , June 17, 2004. New England Journal of Medicine

Ohio Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. , 4th ed., 2004. Choices: Living Well at the End of Life

Medical College of Wisconsin: "Diagnosis and Treatment of Terminal Delirium, Factsheet," "Syndrome of Imminent Death."

American Geriatrics Society: "Dying at Home."

Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association: "Final Days."

"Hospice Palliative Care Program Symptom Guidelines: Delirium/Restlessness," Fraser Health, 2006.

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on July 30, 2018

SOURCES:

Philip Higgins, MSSW, LICSW, director of palliative care outreach, Adult Palliative Care Service, Dana Farber/Brigham & Women's Cancer Center, Boston.

Ursula Braun, MD, MPH, director, in-patient palliative care unit, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Houston; assistant professor of medicine and medical ethics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.

Jennifer Clark, MD, professor of palliative medicine, departments of internal medicine and pediatrics, University of Oklahoma College of Community Medicine, Tulsa.

Andrea Holtzer, RN, palliative care nurse coordinator, St. Mary's Hospital, Amsterdam, NY.

Carol Lovci, RN, MSN, VP, long-term care and special services, San Diego Hospice and The Institute of Palliative Medicine, San Diego.

Byock, I. , Riverside Books, 1997. Dying Well

Hospice Foundation of America. , revised, 2007. The Dying Process: A Guide for Caregivers

Karnes, B. , Barbara Karnes Books Inc., 1986. Gone From My Sight: The Dying Experience

Lynn, J. , Oxford University Press, 1999. Handbook for Mortals

Hallenbeck, J. , May 11, 2005. Journal of the American Medical Association

Lynn, J. , Jan. 15, 1997. Annals of Internal Medicine

Morrison, S.R. , June 17, 2004. New England Journal of Medicine

Ohio Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. , 4th ed., 2004. Choices: Living Well at the End of Life

Medical College of Wisconsin: "Diagnosis and Treatment of Terminal Delirium, Factsheet," "Syndrome of Imminent Death."

American Geriatrics Society: "Dying at Home."

Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association: "Final Days."

"Hospice Palliative Care Program Symptom Guidelines: Delirium/Restlessness," Fraser Health, 2006.

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on July 30, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

What are the signs one to three months before death?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

    Other Answers On: