At Compassus, hospice care is available to patients who qualify for hospice services based on hospice eligibility criteria for dementia and Alzheimer’s. Generally, hospice eligibility requires that the patient has been diagnosed with a terminal illness with an expected life span of six months or less if the disease runs its normal course. In addition, hospice eligibility criteria for dementia and Alzheimer’s requires that the patient’s condition has progressed to a point where hospice care is beneficial and appropriate for symptom management.
If you or a loved one meets hospice eligibility criteria for dementia and Alzheimer’s, hospice care can provide comfort and dignity during the patient’s final months. Please contact us at 833.380.9583 if you have any questions about hospice eligibility criteria for dementia and Alzheimer’s or would like further information on hospice criteria for dementia and hospice care services. We are here to help both caregivers and healthcare professionals.
Hospice Eligibility for Dementia
Referral for people with late-stage dementia should weigh experienced clinical judgment, functional assessment staging tool (FAST scale) or GDS guidelines, and input from family members.
FAST Scale is a tool used by hospice providers to assess the hospice eligibility of people with late-stage dementia accurately. It evaluates physical, cognitive, and behavioral function in areas such as ambulation, communication, eating and drinking ability, bathing and dressing capability, toileting needs, and awareness.
The geriatric depression scale (GDS) is another hospice eligibility guideline that assesses hospice eligibility in people with late-stage dementia. It evaluates the patient’s emotional state, including mood, attitude toward life, and level of engagement with activities.
For hospice eligibility criteria for dementia to be met, patients must experience multiple physical and mental performance declines due to their illness. This includes the decreased ability to perform activities of daily living, cognitive impairment due to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, inability to communicate verbally or via gestures, and hospice nursing care required at least every 14 days.
Hospice Criteria for Alzheimer's
1. Stage 7 on FAST Scale – A, B, and C criteria are critical indicators of end-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Additional criteria lend additional support to terminal status:
- Inability to communicate meaningfully (one to five words a day)
- Non-ambulatory (unable to ambulate and bear weight)
- All intelligible vocabulary lost
- Unable to sit up independently
- Unable to smile
- Unable to hold head up
2. Presence of co-morbid disease distinct from the terminal illness will impact functional impairment. The combined effects of Alzheimer’s and any co-morbid condition should support a prognosis of six months or less.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Congestive heart failure (CHF)
- Liver disease
- Renal failure
- Neurological disease
3. Patients should have had one of the following secondary conditions within the past 12 months:
- Recurrent or intractable infections, such as pneumonia or other URI
- Pyelonephritis or other urinary tract infection
- Decubitus ulcers, multiple stages 3-4
- Fever, recurrent after antibiotics
- Inability to maintain sufficient fluid and calorie intake demonstrated by either of the following: 10% weight loss during the previous six months OR Serum albumin <2.5 gm/dl
- Aspiration pneumonia
What The benefits of Hospice for Dementia?
Hospice for dementia focuses on delivering specialist care and support to older adults with dementia. The main goal of hospice is to enable individuals to live out their days in comfort and dignity, allowing them to remain as independent as possible.
Hospice care offers personalized quality care through:
- Social support services
- Respite care
- Home visits
- Access to approved care services when necessary
The priority of the team working with each individual is to maintain the highest level of physical and mental health while keeping family-centered care central in their approach. All too often, dementia can leave a person feeling alone and isolated.
Contact Compassus for More Information on Hospice Eligibility Criteria
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, it’s essential to understand the hospice criteria for dementia. At Compassus, hospice eligibility criteria for dementia and Alzheimer’s requires that the patient has been diagnosed with a terminal illness with an expected life span of six months or less if the disease runs its normal course. In addition, hospice eligibility criteria for dementia and Alzheimer’s requires that the patient’s condition has progressed to a point where hospice care is beneficial and appropriate for symptom management.
To learn more about hospice criteria for dementia and Alzheimer’s, contact us at 833.380.9583 today with any questions or to get detailed information on hospice care services.