When is Hospice care appropriate?

When the goals of treatment change from cure to comfort (palliative) care, you should be able to discuss the issue openly with your health care team. Since emphasis is on comfort and support, the decision to enter a hospice program should be made early enough for the patient to fully benefit from all services. Hospice is most effective when sufficient time is available to establish a trusting relationship with the patient and the family. The patient and family should feel free to discuss hospice care at any time with their physician, other health care professionals,clergy or friends.