Serving Skagit, Island, San Juan, and Snohomish Counties
Mon-Fri 8am-5pm

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Palliative Pearl:

How Long Has She Got, Doc?

July 2019 –

Helping families understand a timeline for elders with dementia can relieve suffering and help with planning.

Dementia Mitchell Mortality Risk Index Score

Points/Risk factor
1.9 Complete dependence with ADLs
1.9 Male gender
1.7 Cancer
1.6 Congestive heart failure
1.6 O2 therapy needed w/in 14 day
1.5 Shortness of breath
1.5 <25% of food eaten at most meals 1.5 Unstable medical condition
1.5 Bowel incontinence 1.5 Bedfast 1.4 Age > 83 y
1.4 Not awake most of the day

Risk estimate of death within 6 months

Score/Risk %
0 8.9
1-2 10.8
3-5 23.2
6-8 40.4
9-11 57.0
= 12 70.0

A score of 9 or above suggests a patient is hospice eligible.

For more information contact Dr. Leslie Estep or Dr. Anita Meyer at Hospice of the Northwest, (360) 814-5550, or or

About Hospice of the Northwest

Hospice of the Northwest is a skilled, caring and compassionate team of nursing, medical, social and spiritual professionals, volunteers and generous donors. Together, we provide comprehensive care and comfort for patients facing serious illness and the loved ones who care for them. We’ve been serving the residents of Skagit, Island, San Juan and Snohomish Counties since 1989.

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