When is it time for Hospice care?

I just returned from assessing a new patient for Medicaid benefits. While reviewing her chart, I noted that she has just been diagnosed with Giloblastoma. The most aggressive type of brain tumor. The patient is 91 years old, alert and oriented and has one son. I spoke with Mr. X for quite some time as he just decided not to move forward with a surgical biopsy or aggressive treatment. He is emotionally distraught, overwhelmed and in need of a lot of guidance and support.

When is the right time to consider Hospice care? What does Hospice actually DO? Does Hospice care improve the patient’s quality of life in their final days? Are there any services for family members to help them through the dying process?

The National Hospice & Palliative Care Association is a wonderful source for families and professionals that provides a great deal of information on Hospice care as well as a search feature to help find local Hospice providers in your area.

Elayne Forgie, CMC, President
ElderCare at Home