Depends... The problem with saying that a patient must be 'terminal' is that it is hard to predict how long a patient will live, and patients are often reluctant to see themselves as 'terminal'. The result is that patients often start hospice too late--meaning that there is not time to get symptoms really managed, or help the patient and family adjust...It's crisis management at that point.
THAT DEFEATS THE. Purpose based on current definition of hospice care.
Who wants to be... ...Terminal. Its to harsh of a word and will most likely exclude (by their own reluctance) many people who could benefit. It really is for people with a prognosis of 6-12 months (medicare states 6 months or less if the disease runs its normal course) however, in many non-cancer diagnosis (chf, copd, dementia) many patients are admitted and then graduate hospice several times before they die.
End of life care. Hospice is meant for those who seemingly at the end of life, although that end can still be many months away. The emphasis of hospice care is not trying to save the life, but to give comfort to the individual as their death approaches. The timing of death is variable - days, weeks, months. Patients who are not in some way terminal,would not be candidates for hospice care.