How Long Can A Person Be On Hospice?

By: George Darte
Monday, September 26, 2022

If your doctor has suggested hospice care for you or a loved one, you may wonder how long patients typically remain in hospice care. It is impossible to respond universally to that question because each patient's health is unique.

Many families come to George Darte Funeral Home under the false impression that hospice care will hasten the death of their loved one. Hospice care is intended to maximize the remaining patient's comfort and independence for as long as possible. Further, patients in hospice whose conditions improve can discontinue care and reinstate it if necessary.

Misconceptions About Hospice

It's also commonly believed that hospice care is only provided in the final stages of a patient's life. Hospice care has the potential to provide relief and comfort for months. When it comes to the length of time, a family member can receive hospice care, what is the limit? In general, the answer to the question "how long does hospice last?" depends on the patient's diagnosis, but hospice care cannot be provided for more than six months.

Many factors to consider when discussing hospice care make the subject difficult to tackle. How long, for instance, do patients typically stay in this type of care? It is impossible to predict a person's lifespan, even after a terminal illness has been diagnosed. Because of this uncertainty, it can be challenging to predict how long a patient will need hospice care; however, understanding more about the service can help.

Qualifying For Hospice Care

Hospice eligibility is determined by your primary healthcare provider, local hospital, long-term care home, or your local home and community support services organization. There is no cost for palliative care services.

Is there ever an opportunity for a patient to leave hospice care? Yes, this could come as a surprise to learn that hospice patients are often sent home. If the patient's condition improves, treatment can be resumed. Hospice care is only available to those with a prognosis of fewer than six months, so if a patient's prognosis improves and they are given more than six months to live, they will no longer be eligible for hospice care. In general, Hospice is meant to aid the patient in making the most of the remaining time.


For additional details about hospice or our funeral services, please contact George Darte Funeral Home. One of our team members will call you soon to answer your questions.

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