What is Hospice and when should I ask them to help me?

Gay Fulkerson, MD

Hospice is an organization that was formed to help the terminally ill deal with their illness in a better way.

A person is eligible for Hospice if his or her condition is most likely to be fatal in six months or less. The medical condition does not have to be cancer. Medical conditions such as end stage congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other severe conditions are eligible for Hospice. If a person gets better, he or she can leave Hospice and return, if needed, in the future.

Hospice is very good with pain management regimens to control severe pain in the best way for a person to spend quality time with family and friends and to provide all types of comfort measures. Hospice nurses work closely with your physician and also provide chaplain and social services. They also have grief services which are very helpful to a grieving family for up to one year.

Many of my patients have selected Hospice to help them live with dignity as well as die with dignity during severe illnesses. You can request a Hospice consult at any time to see if you or your family member are appropriate for Hospice services.

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