End-of-Life Care for Patients with End-Stage Heart Disease, Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Ischemic Heart Disease

Congested Heart Failure Hospice Eligibility Criteria

Heart failure occurs when the heart muscles can no longer pump blood effectively and fluids can build up around the heart, abdomen, lungs and other parts of the body. Patients with end-stage congestive heart failure (CHF) and terminal heart disease often make frequent doctor’s office, ER and hospital visits for breathing difficulties and fatigue. In fact, over one million people in the United States are admitted to inpatient settings for heart failure each year. One in four Medicare heart failure patients are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days after the patient was discharged from the hospital.

We, at Aria Hospice understand that many of these hospital visits could be prevented with the support of hospice care, but cardiac patients and families are often unaware of the hospice qualifications for Congested Heart Failure. And even more are unaware the added support available for Congested Heart Failure patients in their home or at assisted living for an independent living facility.

hospice care for heart disease san diego ca

In addition to general hospice guidelines, we consider the following symptoms in cardiac patients when determining hospice eligibility criteria for Congested Heart Failure:

  • Identification of specific structural/functional impairments
  • Ejection fraction <20% (not required, but an important consideration)
  • A poor response to diuretics and vasodilators
  • Difficulty breathing or tightness in the chest
  • Chest pain
  • Impaired heart rhythms, contraction force of ventricular muscles and impaired blood supply to the heart
  • Changes in appetite, unintentional weight loss
  • Impaired sleep functions
  • Decline in general physical endurance
  • Relevant activity limitations and or impaired mobility

While only a physician is able to make the determination of whether a Congested Heart Failure patient meets the qualifications to be admitted to hospice, if you are seeing any of the above signs and symptoms in a patient with Congested Heart Failure or other end-stage cardiac conditions, it may be time to consider adding the support of hospice care. You can contact Aria Hospice 24/7, seven days a week, 365 days a year for any questions or concerns.  Our professional team is available both to the patient and their families to answer questions, as well as provide support to help manage the patient’s symptoms.

When to Call Aria Hospice?

While there is no cure for late-stage CHF, the added support of hospice care can improve quality of life for patients and their families. Aria Hospice is here to offer support wherever the patient calls home – including assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities and independent living facilities.

If you have questions as to whether the patient meets the hospice criteria for Congested Heart Failure, it’s important to start the conversation as soon as possible. This way, you have time to explore all of your options and get your questions answered before a crisis occurs. Aria Hospice can meet with patients and their families at the location of your choice at any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Benefits of Aria Hospice Care for Patients Suffering from Congested Heart Failure

Pain Management – Patients with Congested Heart Failure disease often experience pain caused by the progression of the disease. Aria Hospice Team provides comfort care which focuses on relieving pain and maintaining comfort.

Symptom Control – Aria Hospice Care Team regularly assesses each patient’s condition and works with the physician to determine the most effective treatment and medication options to maximize symptom control.

Hospice Care at Home –  The goal of hospice care is to support patients by meeting their needs and managing their care at home – wherever they may call home, using holistic approach that includes hospice massages and emotional and spiritual approaches.

Coordinated Care Approach – Hospice care is a team effort. The patient’s family and loved ones are actively involved along with a team of professionals and volunteers. With the help and support of the hospice care team, the patient and their family can attain physical, emotional, and spiritual preparedness for the end of life.

We Listen. We Care. We Serve.

When you are faced with the challenge of finding a hospice provider to help care for the emotional and physical well being of someone you love, maybe your mom or dad, you will be faced with many questions.

Making the decision about hospice care for a loved one is never easy, but finding the right answers can help you feel more comfortable with the options available and confident in your final decision.

Aria Hospice operates hospice care programs throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties in Southern California. We pride ourselves on being one of the areas leading providers of end-of-life care.


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Anyone diagnosed with a limited life expectancy can receive Aria Hospice care.

Once a physician certifies that an illness is terminal, (a life expectancy of six months or less), they will collaborate with the Aria Hospice team for services, tailored to the needs and wishes of the patient.

Many patients have cancer, but Aria Hospice cares for individuals with many other life-limiting illness, including heart and lung disease, kidney disease, neurological disorders, stroke, Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Family and friends also receive the benefit of hospice care, to help them support the patient and adapt to changes in their lives.

Many people mistakenly believe that all hospice patients are bed-bound, critically ill, and unable to continue living life to the fullest. Hospice celebrates life and supports you in achieving your individual needs in this chapter of your life.

Contact our Admission Coordinator at Aria Hospice in San Diego County or Imperial County with any questions you may have about hospice care or eligibility.

who can receive hospice care


After receiving a diagnosis for limited life expectancy, patients must make an important choice about goals for their treatment.

why choose aria hospice care

When a physician determines that there is no curative treatment for a particular illness, the treatment is not helping any longer or you decide that the side effects of treatment are too great, you may consider choosing comfort care as your ultimate goal.

Aggressive medical treatment focuses on curing the physical illness rather than satisfying the patient’s emotional and spiritual needs. It often requires intensive care in a clinical setting that can diminish quality of life. Hospice care has the focus of comfort, by relieving pain and other symptoms, while continuing to address emotional and spiritual needs of both the patient and family.

Hospice care neither prolongs life nor hastens death, but relieves pain and physical discomfort so that the patient can experience a more peaceful and satisfying quality of life. At Aria Hospice, care is designed to primarily take place in the home or place of residence. Many families tell us that they waited too long to take full advantage of all the benefits offered by hospice care.


Our Team is Here to Help!

We are one of Southern California’s premier providers of end-of-life care. Click the button below to Request Information or call (619) 795-6010 to learn how hospice care can help.