How Do You Know When Someone Is Ready For Hospice

Last Updated on June 3, 2021 by Frank Davis

Several studies have been conducted that suggest the majority of doctors overestimate the life expectancy of their patients. This is not a good thing as patients will miss out on benefits which hospice provides early in a patient’s condition. It is a good idea to ask your doctor for information before you need hospice service in order to avoid this from happening.

It’s possible you are searching for assistance on how to determine when someone is ready for hospice care. Whether you have a loved one with a terminal illness or an aging relative, hospice will play a major role in caring for them in their final stage of life. Is provides a lot of benefits and services to patients, contributing to the improvement of their quality of life. Therapy and medicine are used in order to alleviate the pain and symptoms related to this condition.

There may be a number of reasons why your physician has not recommended hospice care. However, if you are proactive and you are aware of the signs which indicate that hospice care may be necessary, you may avoid receiving hospice care too late.

This article will be going through the indicators that may tell you whether you are ready for hospice care.

  1. The patient forgos curative treatment
  2. As the disease worsens, no signs of improvement can be observed
  3. Frequently recurring infections
  4. Decrease in the amount of weight lost by 10%
  5. Increase in number of symptoms including:
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • shortness of breath
    • persistent cough
    • diarrhea
    • progressive pain
  6. Increase in number of clinical signs including:
    • hypotension
    • edema
    • ascites
    • progressive weakness
    • new altered mental status
  7. Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) that results in aspiration
  8. Requiring assistance with 2 or more ADL’s:
    • Ambulation
    • Transfer
    • Dressing
    • Feeding
    • Continence
    • Bathing
  9. The rate of ulcers in stage 3 to stage 4 has not decreased despite wound care
  10. Increasing hospitalization and emergency visits
  11. Co-morbidities: the simultaneous presence of two or more diseases or medical conditions in a patient, such as:
    • COPD
    • CHF
    • Ischemic heart disease
    • Diabetes mellitus
    • Neurologic disease (CVA, ALS, MS, Parkinson’s)
    • Renal Failure
    • Liver Disease
    • Neoplasia
    • AIDS/HIV
    • Dementia
    • Refractory severe autoimmune disease (lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)


The likelihood of getting accepted into hospice care will increase if you have more indicators. The purpose of this list is to give you some idea of what your physician may look for when prescribing hospice care to you. The process isn’t as simple as a doctor telling you that you have a prognosis of six months or less, you have to fit certain criteria and follow specific guidelines before you get accepted. Now that you have read over these signs and indicators, do you believe that you or your loved one may meet the criteria for hospice care?

You are welcome to schedule a free home assessment to discover if you can benefit from hospice care. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about eligibility and enrollment at (818)433-0068.

Author: Frank Davis

After working in the healthcare field for over ten years, Frank Davis has developed considerable expertise and offers you valuable insights into the industry through blogs. He has published blogs for Hospice Valley, Senior Home Care, and 24 Hour Care, and in his leisure time, Frank enjoys reading and writing.

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