Hospice care is for people with a life-limiting illness who want comfort care rather than curative treatment. It is time to consider hospice care when one or more of these circumstances apply:
• Loss of function and physical decline
• Increase in hospitalizations
• Dependence in most activities of daily living, such as toileting, feeding, dressing
• Increase in emergency room visits
• Continuing weight loss, more than 10% of previous body weight
• Multiple diseases
Each disease has its own Medicare criteria for hospice eligibility, but there must be a life-limiting illness and all parties need to agree that hospice care is appropriate.