Dementia and Hospice Care

When does someone living with dementia qualify for hospice?

For anyone to be deemed eligible to use their hospice benefit, your physician and/or a hospice physician needs to believe that you are likely to die within the next 6 months if your illness runs its typical natural course. Ultimately, that’s a medical judgement call. However, there are some criteria we follow to back up that judgement.

If you are living with dementia, you would likely be eligible to receive hospice care if this describes your situation:

You are completely bedridden,

You can barely speak a single word in a normal day, 

PLUS you’ve had at least one additional complication related to dementia. The most commonly manifesting complications of late dementia dementia are significant weight loss (10% or more of your typical body weight), severe pressure wounds (bed sores), or infections of the lung (pneumonia) or bloodstream (sepsis).

If any of that sounds like your situation AND you would like to focus on your comfort and quality of life as your illness runs its natural course, I would recommend you contact a hospice team for a formal evaluation. You can find hospice groups in your area if you search “medicare hospice near me.” One of the first search results (if not THE first search result) should take you to the page where you can type in your zip code and see not only what hospices are near you but what their reviews look like. Hope this helps get you started!

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