Can you receive Medical Treatment and Hospice Care?
The hospice team includes medical professionals ranging from doctors to registered nurses, hospice aides, dieticians, and physical therapists. A medical diagnosis is always required before starting hospice care and a patient’s own doctor can attend them while they are under hospice care.
However, it is a basic tenet of hospice care that it applies when medical methods of reversing or halting the progress of a disease have failed and a cure is no longer a viable goal. Hospice patients don’t receive treatment aimed at recovery. Medical care does not stop but the focus shifts to ensuring that they enjoy the best possible quality of life in the time that remains. Patient continuing treatment may be appropriate for our Palliative Care program.
Hospice care and dialysis
In most cases of end stage renal disease or ESRD, hospice care applies only to those who have made the decision to stop dialysis. Medicare does not provide for dialysis for hospice patients.
Dialysis is not an easy treatment. It is estimated that between a quarter and a third of ESRD patient decide to stop dialysis before death, although not all choose to go on to hospice programs.
Patients on dialysis may be eligible for palliative care help from Center for Hospice Care even though they don’t formally qualify for hospice care. If you are considering stopping dialysis or are caring for a loved one in those circumstances, or wish to continue dialysis but need assistance, don’t hesitate to get in touch for advice and information by phone or email. We’re always there to help or answer questions.
Hospice care and chemotherapy
Formal hospice care is only available to those who have stopped active cancer treatment that aims to cure. When medical professionals and patients agree that chemotherapy and other active treatments are not working and there is no prospect of remission, hospice care can take over. Medical care doesn’t stop, but aims to make sure the patient is as comfortable as possible rather than cure their cancer. This means no more treatments that cause discomfort and distress, as chemo therapy does.
Patients receiving chemotherapy can receive palliative care from Center for Hospice Care. If you or a loved one are struggling with terminal cancer and need help, contact us whether chemo continues or not, and we’ll let you know how we can assist.
IV fluids and feeding tubes
Patients on hospice care can receive intravenous (IV) fluids when appropriate and hospice doesn’t require the removal of existing feeding tubes. For more information on this topic, visit our Feeding and Hydration page.