healthcare worker talking to senior woman

Hospice Eligibility

The primary eligibility criterion for hospice care is a diagnosis of a life-limiting condition with a life expectancy of six months or less if the illness runs its usual course. Early referral to hospice is beneficial for managing symptoms and improving quality of life.

To qualify for hospice care, a patient should meet at least two of the following conditions:

  1. Dependence in Activities of Daily Living (ADLs): Requires assistance in 2 to 3 out of 6 ADLs.
  2. Shortness of Breath (SOB) or Fatigue: Experiences SOB or fatigue at rest or with minimal exertion.
  3. Frequent Hospital Visits: Has multiple emergency department visits or hospitalizations.
  4. Significant Weight Loss: Loses 10% of body weight within six months.
  5. Recurrent Falls: Experiences recurrent falls with injury.
  6. Decreased Physical Activity Tolerance: Shows a marked decrease in tolerance to physical activity.


In-service programs are essential educational offerings provided to healthcare professionals by hospice organizations. Topics can range from advanced care planning pain management strategies to understanding the unique needs of patients with specific conditions like dementia or cancer. These programs are typically customized to meet the specific needs of healthcare professionals and can be offered in various settings, including healthcare facilities, hospice centers, or online platforms.

Interested in learning how hospice care planning services can help those in need and the challenges they may face? Listen to our podcast today!

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