How Long Can A Person Be In Hospice Care?

By: Ian Elliott
Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Hospice care is expressly set up for those who are in the final stages of their lives. It helps them cope with pain, provides emotional support and comfort in a challenging time. Hospice generally collaborates with social services, primary care physicians, as well as family members in the hopes of creating individualized plans. Clients often ask experts at Arbutus Funeral Service about the duration of hospice care.

While Medicare defines the hospice service for individuals with a life expectancy of six months or less, there are certain exceptions. As long as a person is terminally ill, they should be eligible for hospice care. However, there are several misconceptions about hospice as well.

Hospice Eligibility

For instance, people at times associate hospice care with terminal cancer. While hospice does help those with cancer, its services do not just end there. Patients suffering from the following conditions are also eligible for hospice, they include:

  • Heart failure
  • Kidney disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • A stroke that’s expected to end life
  • Chronic lung diseases
  • AIDS
  • Final stages of Alzheimer’s or other neurological conditions
  • Any terminal illness

The guidelines for the hospice program includes the following:

The patient is eligible for two hospice periods 90-days.
Once the two 90-day benefit periods are complete, evaluations are then made every 60 days.
After the 90-day term, the physician will reevaluate the condition and confirm a life expectancy of six months or less.

There are also levels in hospice care, which means the rules may change with different levels. They include:

  • Level One: Basic Care
  • Level Two: Continuous Home Care
  • Level Three: General Care
  • Level Four: Respite Care

These assessments provide crucial information at each level.

For information on our customized funeral services, feel free to call Arbutus Funeral Service, and our funeral director will help you preplan a service if you need one.

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