Hospice care is recommended for those with a six-month or less remaining life expectancy. The average length of stay in hospice care varies according to the individual’s unique condition or illness and end-of-life wishes(hospice patients).
Prior to Dying, the Average Time Spent in Hospice
According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, patients in hospice care received an average of 76.1 days of care before they passed away, with 82% of those patients succumbing to their illnesses (NHPCO). Because they were no longer in life-threatening danger, the remaining patients were discharged or moved to another facility. Dementia sufferers typically require 110 days of care on average. Patients with chronic kidney illness, on the other hand, spent the fewest days in hospice, on average, at 38 days.
Facility for Nursing Care/Assisted Living
Some hospice patients resided in assisted living facilities or were transferred to nursing homes or long-term care facilities as their disease advanced. Around 20% of hospice patients died in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
Hospice Care in the Home
Around 40% of hospice patients died at home. As a result, many people prefer to receive hospice care in their own homes for comfort and peace of mind.
Hospice Care on an Inpatient Basis
Around 22% died while receiving inpatient hospice care. Inpatient hospice care can be delivered in the home or a facility, but the staff will frequently change throughout treatment instead of the consistent staff provided by at-home hospice care.
Disabilities and Illnesses
Anyone facing a terminal disease may wish to consider hospice care to help control pain and acute symptoms and improve their quality of life. The following are the most often seen illnesses in hospice care:
- 36.6 percent of hospice patients had been diagnosed with cancer.
- 14.8% had been diagnosed with dementia.
- 14.7 percent had been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.
- In addition, 9.3 percent were found to have lung illness.
Hospice Care Stages
Hospice treatment is divided into numerous stages or levels. Depending on the patient’s demands, they may progress through the stages or die while getting care in one. Once a patient enters the active phase of dying, treatment may be intensified to provide further comfort and pain relief. When a patient begins to show signs of active dying, the majority will survive for an additional three days on average. The NHPCO states:
- Routine Hospice Care: Most patients elect for routine hospice care, which involves receiving treatment in their home by a competent professional. Approximately 89 percent choose this level of treatment.
- Continuous Home Care (CHC): Approximately 1.7 percent of patients receive CHC when pain and acute symptoms are addressed at the patient’s home between eight and twenty-four hours a day.
- Inpatient Respite Care: Approximately 1.7 percent of patients elect to stay in an inpatient respite facility. This is a form of treatment administered at a hospital or long-term care institution.
- General Inpatient Care: Around 7% of individuals receive this type of care. General inpatient care is recommended for patients seeking pain management in a hospice facility, hospital, or long-term care facility.
Certain facilities regard bereavement care as the highest level of hospice care and assist the patient’s family.
Recognize Hospice Care
Hospice care can help you or a loved one achieve the highest possible quality of life possible based on the diagnosis or issue at hand. While hospice care is recommended for those with approximately six months to live, a study found that approximately 13.4 percent of those admitted to hospice care lived well beyond six months.
Hospice care is a challenging subject, as there are numerous factors to consider. For instance, how long do patients stay in this type of care? Unfortunately, even when diagnosed with a terminal illness, it is impossible to predict how much time they have left. Because of this uncertainty, determining how long someone will remain in hospice is difficult, but learning more about this service can provide answers.
There are numerous myths regarding hospice. For instance, some people link hospice care to terminal cancer. While hospice does assist patients diagnosed with cancer, its assistance does not end there. Additionally, hospice cares for patients who suffer from the following conditions:
- A stroke that is anticipated to be fatal
- Failure of the heart
- Chronic lung disorders
- The disease of the kidneys
- The disease of Parkinson’s
- Alzheimer’s disease or other neurological disorders in their latter stages
- Any terminal sickness
Hospice care is provided to persons nearing the end of their life. It works by assisting in managing pain, providing comfort, and providing emotional support. Hospice collaborates with families, social services, and primary care physicians to develop comprehensive care plans for each patient. However, how long is hospice care?
How long can someone remain in hospice care?
Medicare technically defines hospice as a service provided to those with a life expectancy of six months or less. Naturally, there are exceptions to this comprehensive norm, provided the patient stays terminally ill.
Medicare’s hospice program standards include the following:
- The patient receives two 90-day hospice stays.
- Following the two 90-day benefit periods, reviews are conducted on a 60-day basis.
- Following the initial 90-day period, a physician must reevaluate the case and affirm a six-month or fewer life expectancy.
Medicare also allocates levels of hospice care, and the requirements may vary according to the level. The four tiers are as follows:
- Level One: Fundamental Care
- Continual Home Care at Level Two
- Third Level: General Care
- Respite Care at the Fourth Level
Assessments provide additional information at each stage.