What if a Patient Begins to Improve in Hospice?
Many equate “hospice” with a form of care for a person with a terminal prognosis—typically with the last 6-month window of their life. For this reason, this care may be recommended when other forms of care have been deemed ineffective at lengthening the patient’s life in a meaningful way. Hospice care is meant to provide the individual with comfort and dignity before they eventually pass away. With this being said, the path to patient discharge is not always as “simple” as that.
Patients Can Seem to “Improve”
Though rare, there are instances of hospice patients seeming to do much “better” in hospice care than traditional hospitalization or while receiving other forms of care. They may become more alert, more social, and happier. This does not necessarily denote a recovery but can occur due to a variety of reasons. At times, as one’s plan of care shifts as they move from traditional care to hospice care, this can mean changes in their medications, diet, social interaction, and the like. In most instances, even these positive changes are not indications of the possibility of recovery but are more likely due to various positive aspects of hospice care—especially in comparison to receiving taxing treatments leading up to a referral.
Does Anyone Ever Recover After Entering Hospice?
The decision to refer a patient to hospice care is not one entered into lightly. For this reason, most patients who elect for this care do not recover from their terminal diagnosis. It is important to note, however, that patients or family members can choose to revoke hospice care at any time if a physician has determined the possibility of a treatment that can lengthen the patient’s life longer than the previous length of time. While this can happen, this is highly unusual and should not be expected. In most instances, holding onto such false hopes following a hospice referral can be emotionally taxing for patients and family members alike.
More Questions About Hospice Care?
If you or a loved one have additional questions about hospice care, feel free to reach out to the experts at Cura HPC Hospice & Palliative Care in Tulsa, OK.