One of the most frequently asked questions in my hospice work is something like, “How long do you think we have?” Meaning, when is death gonna come? Helping determine length of life expectancy is called prognostication.
There are patterns to consider (what has been the recent history of changes in health) and there are physical clues that allow us to give ideas and warnings of how much time may be left in life.
The benefits of thinking through a time line include capturing opportunities, making plans, addressing reality and resolving issues.
The disadvantage of speaking out verbally the prognosis of life/death is that at times people hold their breath waiting for that time to come, get very worried and opportunities in their life.
Does this have to be done for all clients? I do not believe it does…but everyone is thinking the question. Why not get it out and talk it over…