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I know what hospice is. What I am getting confused about is the qualifiers. A little over three years ago my father was place on palliative care by his drs. At the time it was explained to me as the step before hospice - that more care and comfor needed to be provided but end of life was not in the immediate future. After a month or so it was determined that hospice would be more appropriate as they were sure he would die within six months. They told us that a six month time line was the line between the two types of care. That and a diagnosis of cancer, congestive heart failure and lung disease(s). Here I keep reading "get hospice involved". One poster even stated that end of life is not a required qualifier. I am confused now - I also thought hospice was a federal mandate that did not vary by state. My mom has lost her mind but physically she is probably in better shape than I. God knows her blood pressure is better, lol! Can anyone advise? I don't want to pursue another dead end.

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Speaking what I hope is NOT a dead end, has she been seen by geriatric psychiatry yet?
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Rainmom, I think the problem is that Medicare defines hospice as "palliative care for the terminally I'll patient". It is left up to a doctor to determine "terminal". Dementia IS a terminal illness. Can you talk to mom's doctor about whether hospice, or palliative care is appropriate for any physical ailments she may have?
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The person's doctor usually orders Hospice or Palliative Care.
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Not sure about Medicaid but Medicare covers Hospice. There is home Hospice and Hospice facilities. Our local Homecare provides Hospice. Call one of these and ask if they have something in writing. The criteria has changed in the last few years.
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hospice is usually covered by Medicaid, but the qualifying terms can vary from one organization to the next. There are non profits and for profits and the policies and quality of care can be different. In my opinion, the worst hospice is better than no hospice. The six month to live standard is common. But keep in mind, this is up to the treating docs and they can be all over the place with prognosis. Another point to consider is that many times patients will improve under good, consistent hospice care and be removed, then placed back in hospice later on. This is quite common. If you feel a loved one needs hospice contact a hospice organization in your area and set up a meeting. I would recommend a non profit.
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