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When a terminal illness has been diagnosed (life expectancy less than six months), and cure-oriented treatment is no longer being pursued, hospice is an option. Determining when to turn to hospice is never an easy decision.
Hospice does not take away hope, it changes what you hope for:
Sometimes your doctor is the first to mention Hospice. Other times, you or your family seek information. Hospice is not giving up hope. Hospice is all about living as fully as you can. It is important that you and your doctor talk openly and share the same goals for maintaining quality of life. Hospice is an option for comfort and care, which in many cases may actually lengthen life and increases the quality of the time remaining. Patients and families can benefit most from Hospice care when they seek support earlier rather than in a crisis.