Dispelling Hospice Myths: Hospice Is Only for Seniors Advanced in Age
Although the vast majority of hospice patients are over the age of 85, that is not true for all patients. And it is certainly not a requirement to be over a certain age in order to receive hospice services.
For many patients, hospice care is available when they decide to stop treatment for a life-threatening illness such as cancer or heart disease. People of any age may turn to hospice care when the pain of life-prolonging treatments, like chemotherapy for example, are no longer worth the pain caused by the treatment. Patients with a life-limiting illness may wish to focus instead on quality of life and choose to stop painful treatments; this is when hospice can help.
Situations Where Hospice Serves All Ages
The majority of deaths in the United States happen over the age of 85. If a child or teen were to pass away, it is most likely due to an accident or suicide, which are sudden and do not require hospice care. That is why you do not see many children in hospice care.
Unfortunately, cancer does affect children and teens, which would be the main reason you would see a young person in hospice care. But the younger the person is, the more they will have to live. If any life-saving treatments are available, they usually choose to undergo them.
Patients in their 30s, 40s, and 50s will continue on dialysis, chemotherapy, or radiation to prolong their life and be around for their young children or attend graduation or a wedding. However, when the illness progresses despite treatment, or the discomfort and pain take away the person’s quality of life, they will transfer to hospice care.
Bonita Springs Healthcare Services Can Help
You never want to picture a young patient in hospice care, but if it takes away pain and suffering during the final weeks or months of life, it is a valuable option. Patient families think of hospice care as a gift when they feel so powerless, watching their loved one suffer. To learn more about our compassionate hospice services, please contact our team at Bonita Springs Healthcare Services. We are ready to provide answers to your questions.
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