Is Hospice Exclusively for the Elderly?


When people think of hospice care, the first thing that comes to their minds is an older individual who has lived a long, fulfilling life and is preparing to pass on from natural causes. However, the unfortunate reality is that not every person will have this luxury. Some people, either due to predetermined genetic factors or by pure chance, will develop terminal illnesses before their “golden years”, resulting in an earlier death – so are you allowed to place a non-elderly family member in Los Angeles hospice care? 

While a vast majority of patients are seniors, does that mean that a younger person who is expected to live only a few more months will be discriminated against from hospice care in Los Angeles? So the short answer is no, it is not exclusive to the elderly. However, it is worth mentioning that end-of-life care for a younger person, whether they are a child or an adult in their 30s or even 40s, will differ from that of an older individual. For instance, it is more likely that even if a younger adult is chronically ill, they are more likely to be able to be of sound mind and make decisions on their own behalf. Any patient under the age of 18  is considered a pediatric hospice patient. A lucid person has the right to choose to refuse palliative care, no matter how fatal their disease is. In the case of parents of a sick child from birth to 17 years, they may choose to place their dying child in a Los Angeles hospice since they are legally in charge of their medical affairs. Historically, hospice care for children was limited to cancer patients only, but now, a child with any lethal disease may receive it. Like a young or middle age adult, a child (depending on their approximate age) is much more likely to be aware of their condition than an elderly patient.

Like older adults receiving hospice care, each younger patient will vary in their own individual needs and comfort levels. It is imperative to evaluate concrete details of the individual’s situation, including their general medical history, the severity of their disease, any medications they must take to lessen any pain or agonizing symptoms, and of course, how to maximize their comfort level as their death comes close. Our team is highly trained to work with a wide population of individuals who are in need of end-of-life care. 

We fully understand that making the decision to put a member of your family in Los Angeles palliative care or hospice care may be one of the most challenging decisions you will ever have to make, but we want to assure you that you do not have to experience your pain alone. At Faith and Hope Hospice, we firmly believe that all individuals deserve high-quality end-of-life care. You can trust every member of our 5-star care team to ensure that your loved one experiences the most comfortable end of life they possibly can.