What happens if a hospice patient lives unexpectedly long?


Do they get evicted?

In: 2

Nothing. Hospice doesn’t necessarily mean they will die, although there usually ends up being a correlation. It just means they are getting more services due to their condition. I don’t know super specifics so someone else can tell you better, but a lot of people think being on hospice means you’re doomed

Could they be? Yes but it’s not really an eviction from the program. It just means they are too healthy to continue qualifying. Are people regularly removed from Hospice? No.

Hospice accepts patients who are expected to die within six months but people are really hesitant to put their loved ones into a Hospice program because it means that person is going to die. So, typically people only come into Hospice very shortly before death so six months isn’t a question at all. Some patients don’t even live long enough for Hospice to take over care. They die shortly after admittance. Interestingly, some patients who come into hospice care will see an improvement in their physical condition because they are no longer taking aggressive treatments that cause physical discomfort.

Basically, if you are considering putting a loved one into Hospice care, do it! Hospice is an incredible organization that does so much not only for the patient but also for their families. Hospice support continues even after the patient’s death.

Source: My grandma was a Hospice volunteer for over 20 years.

Generally, a person is a candidate for hospice when they are expected to live less than a year. At this point all care is strictly palliative, meaning it’s done to make the person feel more comfortable and decrease their pain, not to help them recover. If they live longer than expected (which happens!) then the person and their healthcare team just review the situation and change the plan of care as necessary.

Some hospitals have policies on how long they will keep hospice patients even when they know death is eminent. I went through this with a relative years ago. It was a mess.

My friend (in her early 30s) had stage 4, terminal ovarian cancer. She was sent to a hospice place to die. 16 weeks later they sent her home and that was 15+ years ago. She rallied, got better. It happens. I think they are happy to send her home alive. My mom had the same oncologist office and they refer to my friend as ”the miracle.”
My friend had to battle a morphine addiction and have physical therapy afterward because those 2 things don’t matter when you’re dying.
I would guess it’s amazingly rare.