Hospice care is about short-term, end-of-life care. Therefore, only terminally ill patients with a six-month life expectancy or less are eligible for hospice care. In order to begin hospice care, a person needs a physician’s referral.
So, the typical life expectancy for hospice patients is six months or less. However, the life expectancy of these patients depends on many factors, such as:
- Age – patients older than 65 are more likely to die within six months.
- Diagnosis – people with cancer are more likely to die in the next six months than people with other diseases.
- Gender – men have a higher risk of passing away during the six-month timeframe than women.