Is It Time to Refer Your Patient?

Hospice care can benefit patients of any age—with any serious illness— who are experiencing any of the following triggers:

The following questions may help determine whether a patient needs our help. Contact Hospice & Community Care’s Access Team at (717) 391-2416 if your patient:

  • May not survive within the year
  • Is seriously ill and pain management is needed
  • Has more than one chronic condition
  • Has been admitted to the ER/hospital several times within six months
  • Is facing difficult conversations regarding end-of-life decisions

General Advanced Illness (any of these triggers):

  • Decline in the ability to function
  • Needs help with dressing, bathing or other daily activities
  • Poor nutritional status/weight loss
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Worsening of symptoms
  • Increased emergency room visits
  • Patient is no longer seeking or able to tolerate curative treatment

Cancer (any of these triggers):

  • Patient is in advanced stages of illness
  • Disease is spreading/metastasizing
  • Symptoms are progressing despite treatment
  • Patient declines or is not a candidate for aggressive treatment
  • Is experiencing pain or other symptoms
  • Unintentional weight loss

Heart Disease (any of these triggers):

  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing when resting
  • Chest pains when resting
  • Significant/recurrent symptoms when resting
  • Overwhelming fatigue
  • Recurrent hospitalizations/worsening of symptoms
  • Optimally treated with heart medications
  • Self care becomes difficult because of cardiac symptoms
  • Has two or more existing medical conditions (renal insufficiency, pulmonary edema, dementia, etc.)

Stroke (any of these triggers):

  • Difficulty swallowing/aspiration
  • Recurrent infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Pressure sores

End Stage Kidney Disease (any of these triggers):

  • Declines dialysis
  • Poor response to dialysis
  • Pain or other symptoms
  • Even if awaiting transplant

End Stage Liver Disease (any of these triggers):

  • Pain or other symptoms
  • Even if awaiting transplant

Lung Disease (any of these triggers):

  • Dependent on oxygen
  • Difficulty swallowing/aspiration
  • Recurrent infections
  • Recurrent hospitalizations/severe worsening of symptoms
  • Decreasing functional abilities because of pulmonary symptoms
  • Unintentional weight loss

Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias (any of these triggers):

  • Loss of or severely limited ability to walk
  • Loss of or severely limited speech
  • Inability to perform activities of daily living
  • Incontinent of urine and stool
  • Difficulty maintaining posture
  • Significantly eating less/weight loss
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pressure sores
  • Recurrent infections

To make a referral, call Hospice & Community Care’s Access Team at (717) 391-2416.