Skip to content

"The best things in the world
cannot be seen or even touched
they must be felt with the heart"
– Helen Keller
Call (215) 867-5405

Is Hospice Only for the Last Few Weeks of Your Senior’s Life?

Some of the misconceptions about hospice care may be enough to keep you or your senior from considering this form of treatment. It’s important to understand what the timeframes mean for someone who is considering hospice care.

Your Senior’s Doctor May Expect Her Remaining Time to Be Short

The main qualifying factor for hospice care is that your senior’s doctor expects that she has less than six months left to live. This isn’t very long and your senior’s situation likely feels very dire to everyone involved. It’s vital to remember, though, that just because your senior’s medical team expects that her remaining time is short, that doesn’t mean they’re accurately predicting the actual time she has left. There have been many times that someone has defied the medical odds and done far better than expected.

She May not Stay in Hospice, Though

Your elderly family member may find that her condition improves to the point that she is able to leave hospice treatment. Or she may change her mind about curative treatments that she opted out of in the past. Any of these situations can cause her to leave hospice care and return to the types of care that better fit her current frame of mind and situation.

If She Still Needs Hospice, She Can Be Recertified

But that doesn’t mean that she’s out of luck if she doesn’t improve or want to go back to curative treatments. Hospice often is a gentler form of care that allows your senior to rest. She may recover to the extent that she’s no longer getting significantly worse each day, but she’s also not getting significantly better. That might mean that she needs to be recertified to continue with hospice care.

It’s about Quality of Life

The most important issue for your senior at this stage of her life is that she’s comfortable and that her quality of life is as high as possible. Hospice care can help you to do that in ways that curative treatments and plans are not as able to do. The time limits that are mentioned within the definitions of hospice are guidelines more than anything definitive.

Your elderly family member may benefit greatly from hospice, even if she doesn’t stay with this type of care for as long as you and she expect. Even if she does return to traditional care, she likely will do so from a standpoint of having improved her situation.

If you or an aging parent is considering hospice elder care in West Chester, PA, please contact the caring staff at Serenity Hospice today. Call (215) 867-5405.

Michael Drew, LNHA

Michael Drew LNHA is the administrator of Serenity Hospice PA, servicing the greater Bensalem and Philadelphia areas. In this capacity, he leads and inspires the company’s mission of providing quality and compassionate end-of-life care and supportive services for patients and their families, and to enhance their quality of life. Michael’s hallmark is his genuine concern for patients and his dedication to meeting their needs.
A veteran of providing quality healthcare, Michael has served with distinction in a variety of leadership capacities for nearly two decades, notably as administrator for several Skilled Nursing Facilities in New Jersey. Known as an innovative and solution-oriented individual, Michael has his finger on the pulse on new trends and concepts in providing quality care.