Admission to hospice care requires a loved one have a terminal illness with a prognosis that is limited to six months or less. Any diagnosis is fine, but the prognosis must be previously established. Confused about the difference between those two terms? So are many who are in your situation. Let’s take a closer look at the two ideas.
A prognosis is essentially how your loved one’s illness will develop. In today’s culture, many people see it as the doctor’s estimate of how long the patient must live, but it’s more complex than that. Many things can affect how the doctor sees the disease playing out within your body. For example, with cancer, the type of cancer and where it’s located seriously affects the prognosis. Some cancers tend to be more aggressive than others, and in certain locations, cancer develops much faster. Prognosis also considers the types of treatments someone has already had, their end of life wishes, and the types of treatment currently in development and available.
Diagnosis isn’t quite as complicated. A diagnosis is just the cause of the illness from which your loved one is suffering. For example, the diagnosis could be lung cancer or Multiple Sclerosis. A diagnosis doesn’t always mean the same prognosis in different patients. One patient with lung cancer might have years to live while another may only have a few months.
Hospice care was designed for individuals who have a prognosis of six months or less, no matter what the diagnosis may be. The goal of any hospice facility is to offer comfort as dying takes its natural course. Choosing hospice care doesn’t mean hastening a patient’s death. It simply means making the journey more comfortable.
To learn more about hospice care, please contact us today.