Knowing the right time
Only patients or their caregivers or doctors can decide the right time for hospice care.
For the most part, this type of care is provided during the end stages of a serious illness. Sometimes, hospice care is appropriate when the challenges of day-to-day life become too much for the patient.
Although there is no strict rule for timing, most patients who undergo hospice care do so when the natural course of their illness gives them about six months to live. This timeline can shift according to the patient’s specific needs.
Signs that hospice care may be beneficial:
- A continued decline in health
- Doctors who have expressed that they have done all they can
- Quality of life adversely affected by symptoms
- Depression and anxiety experienced by the patient
- Independent living, or fulfilling life’s daily tasks, is no longer possible
- A need for greater and greater support from friends and family