When is a Resident with Dementia Ready for Hospice?

This week’s tip has been adapted with permission from the VITAS Hospice publication entitled Clinical Appropriateness: Alzheimer’s Disease.

Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for more than 50 percent of all dementia cases, generally progresses in a linear fashion over an average of seven to ten years, but may be much longer in some instances.  A person transitions through several stages of deterioration and the essential skills acquired in the first years of life are lost.  These include the ability to respond or speak coherently; to walk and sit up; to control the bowels and bladders; even swallowing becomes impaired.

Residents are eligible for hospice care when a physician makes a clinical determination that life expectancy is six months or less.  VITAS suggests residents with dementia be evaluated for hospice if they:

  • Can say only a few words
  • Are dependent on others for all activities of daily living
  • Are no longer ambulatory
  • Have been through a lengthy period of decline lasting several years

2 Responses to “When is a Resident with Dementia Ready for Hospice?”

  1. What is to all is to be in a request for a waiver for hospice for three residents. As I was missing something and CCL would not tell me what it was I was missing. Does anyone have an example of a written wavier that was done since the last up date.

  2. Hello Deborah. Our California RCFE Hospice Care Manual includes everything you need to submit your waiver request: http://www.careandcompliance.com/policies/policy-manuals/assisted-living-hospice-care-manual.html

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