My mom is sick at home. The doctor told us she is terminal, when will I know she needs hospice?

Mom has terminal cancer. The doctor said she could live 6 months to a couple of years. He is not sure.


Senior Advisor

I'm so sorry to hear this.  Hospice is usually reserved for the final six months.   Timing is tough to predict these matters.   Since your mom is still under the care of her doctor, they would know when to transition her.   With mom being in the home setting already this transition should be... (more)

I'm so sorry to hear this.  Hospice is usually reserved for the final six months.  Timing is tough to predict these matters.  Since your mom is still under the care of her doctor, they would know when to transition her.  With mom being in the home setting already this transition should be seamless.  This final phase is designed to provide the patient with the comfort, quality of care and dignity one can only ask for in these final times. Hospice care isn’t about healing.  It allows patients to move through the dying process.  Through these tough times, hospice care also offers family members resources for the transition to grief ahead, usually in the form of chaplain visits. 

Most people who are facing their final days want to be surrounded with loved ones.  They prefer to be in a home setting versus a hospital.  The home environment is best for not only the patient, but for the family and friends that visit.  Once under the care of hospice, all the services and doctors will be coming from them.  You may want to consider home care (non-medical) to offset time off needed for loved ones that are involved on a daily basis.  You have to care for yourself as well during these times.  Other things to consider are the legal documents like wills, power of attorney and advance directives are all up-to-date.  

We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and relevant information to senior citizens and their families and... (more)We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and relevant information to senior citizens and their families and loved ones. The material provided through our site is made available for informational purposes only. In no way should users of our site rely or act upon any information provided herein without seeking appropriate professional advice (medical, legal or financial). Users should independently verify the accuracy, completeness and relevance for their specific purposes. The information provided through our site is not intended to constitute professional advice and in no way forms or constitutes a professional-client relationship of any kind.

Senior Specialist

Hospice care is known as end-of-life care, as life expectancy is less than six months. A team of health care professionals and volunteers provides the service. They give medical, psychological, and spiritual support. The goal of the care is to help people who are dying have peace, comfort, and... (more)

Hospice care is known as end-of-life care, as life expectancy is less than six months. A team of health care professionals and volunteers provides the service. They give medical, psychological, and spiritual support. The goal of the care is to help people who are dying have peace, comfort, and dignity. The caregivers try to control pain and other symptoms so a person can remain as alert and comfortable as possible. Hospice programs also provide services to support a patient's family.

To qualify for hospice service, two physicians must certify that the patient is terminally ill. These physicians are typically the attending physician and the hospice medical director. Medicare Part A is usually the payor for this type of service.

I hope this helps and sorry that you have to go through this process.

We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and relevant information to senior citizens and their families and... (more)We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and relevant information to senior citizens and their families and loved ones. The material provided through our site is made available for informational purposes only. In no way should users of our site rely or act upon any information provided herein without seeking appropriate professional advice (medical, legal or financial). Users should independently verify the accuracy, completeness and relevance for their specific purposes. The information provided through our site is not intended to constitute professional advice and in no way forms or constitutes a professional-client relationship of any kind.

Private Fiduciary, Trustee,Conservator, Financial Advisor

She needs hospice now to provide palliative care first, and then, if you chooses to stop treating her disease, then hospice begins,  Palliative care is invaluable!

We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and relevant information to senior citizens and their families and... (more)We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and relevant information to senior citizens and their families and loved ones. The material provided through our site is made available for informational purposes only. In no way should users of our site rely or act upon any information provided herein without seeking appropriate professional advice (medical, legal or financial). Users should independently verify the accuracy, completeness and relevance for their specific purposes. The information provided through our site is not intended to constitute professional advice and in no way forms or constitutes a professional-client relationship of any kind.