A stroke is typically an acute event that damages brain tissue and causes an array of ongoing symptoms from that point forward. The severity of a stroke can vary. Some patients become completely debilitated by a stroke, while others may gradually recover some of the brain function lost during the stroke.
To enter hospice, a stroke patient must be evaluated by a doctor and determined to have a life expectancy of six months or less. Hospice care is intended for individuals who’ve ceased treatment for terminal illness. It’s aimed at alleviating symptoms and improving the patient’s quality of life. Some indicators that a patient may be hospice eligible after a stroke include:
- An inability to carry out personal grooming and household activities
- Progressive weight loss and an inability to maintain a reasonable caloric intake
- Being bed-bound or chair-bound most of the time
- A reduced level of consciousness or prolonged coma
- Unintelligible or barely intelligible speech that prevents the patient from articulating specific problems or needs
While hospice services are intended for individuals who’ve ceased curative treatment and have six months or less to live, some stroke victims may require extra care before reaching this point. Palliative care includes most of the same services as hospice, but it’s intended for those who wish to continue exploring their treatment options and have a longer expected life span than six months.