The goal of Three Oaks Hospice is to provide comfort care at the end of life, so patients who enter hospice typically do so after all life-sustaining and curative treatments have been exhausted. Hospice care focuses on quality of life and symptom management to ensure patients spend their final days, weeks or months as comfortably as possible.
A doctor typically refers a patient to hospice after a terminal diagnosis, but patients and family members can also request a referral. Discussing hospice options in advance can make the decision easier when the time comes.
Various factors will support eligibility for hospice services, and some patients may be eligible based on the progression of comorbid diseases instead of the actual viral load level.
Palliative care is an option for patients with AIDS or HIV who don’t meet the diagnostic criteria for hospice care. A palliative care team offers many of the same services as hospice, but it is intended to be used in conjunction with curative treatments or before the patient’s illness has progressed to the terminal stage. Patients with a life expectancy of over six months may still meet the criteria for palliative care.
A patient with HIV/AIDS who’s on palliative care may experience a sudden rapid decline, but Three Oaks Hospice can smoothly transfer a patient from palliative care to hospice.. The patient’s physician can confirm terminal status and refer the patient to hospice.