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Can My Grandfather Go On Hospice For Old Age?


Dear Crossroads, 

My grandfather just turned 97 years old and has trouble getting up out of bed and walking around the house sometimes. My grandmother passed away last year so he’s all alone in his house and I’m worried he’s not getting the care he needs. He insists that he’s fine on his own, but he’s always been a very stubborn guy. Is hospice care for old age an option for him even though he isn’t suffering from any illnesses? I just want to make sure he’s safe. 

An Equally Stubborn Grandson

Dear Equally Stubborn Grandson,

Thank you for reaching out. It’s admirable to show initiative and concern for your loved one, even if you’re uncertain of what their current needs may be. Regarding your question about hospice care for old age, the simple answer is: no, old age alone does not qualify an individual for hospice care. Hospice eligibility is dependent on several factors. The number of candles on your birthday cake is not one of them.

If your loved one does indeed suffer from advancing illness(s), regardless of their age, they may be eligible for hospice care. If you’re unsure, reach out to us.

You can also check out Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care’s hospice eligibility criteria to confirm if hospice is a potential option for your loved one.

Medicare has established guidelines for hospice for most major terminal illnesses that are also followed by Medicaid and private insurance. It is generally considered that an individual with a prognosis of six months or less life expectancy, if their disease runs its normal course, is eligible to receive hospice services. There is no certain number of symptoms required to be hospice eligible, so it’s smart to consult with a qualified organization. 

Often, there are many misconceptions when it comes to hospice care. It is important to know all of your care options. A clear understanding of how one could benefit from hospice support if facing a terminal illness, and what the criteria for eligibility are, allows you to make the right decision for yourself – based on what is sacred to you and how you want to live regardless of disease.

Reach out to a qualified organization that has a long-standing history, like Crossroads. We can help evaluate properly, and that can offer the appropriate care at the right time. 


Dr. Timothy Ihrig
Chief Medical Officer, Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care

For more information on hospice care, give us a call at 888-564-3405. If you found this information helpful, please share it with your network and community. Copyright © 2019 Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care. All rights reserved.

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