Shattering the Myths About Hospice Care

In 2014, an estimated 1.6 million patients received hospice care. Now that National Hospice and Palliative Care month is here, it’s a good time to shatter many of the myths that still linger about hospice care in order to truly raise awareness.

What is Hospice?

Hospice is specialized care that focuses on providing support to both patients and families during an advanced illness. This type of care is focused on comfort and quality of life, rather than a cure. Hospice care does not hasten death, but helps manage symptoms when aggressive and invasive treatments are no longer effective or wanted.

To learn and understand hospice, it’s helpful to start by debunking the most common myths that keep people from seeking hospice care.

7 Myths Exposed About Hospice

  • Myth #1: Hospice is where you go when there’s nothing else a doctor can do.
    • Truth: In addition to providing medical care, hospice focuses on giving both emotional and spiritual comfort and quality of life.
  • Myth #2: Hospice is only provided during the final days of life. T
    • Truth: Depending on the course of the illness, hospice patients can receive care for 6 months or longer, though patients entering hospice are often given less than 6 months to live.
  • Myth #3: Hospice is a place.
    • Truth: Hospice is a care philosophy and can take place wherever the need exists. About 70% of hospice care is received in the patient’s home.
  •  Myth #4:  Hospice is only for cancer or AIDS patients.
    • Truth:  Any patient that has a terminal diagnosis specified by an attending physician qualifies for hospice care.  In fact, more than one-half of patients in hospice nation-wide have illnesses other than cancer.  Hospice have been helping families cope with the ending stages of chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease and emphysema.
  • Myth #5: Good end-of-life care is very expensive.
    • Truth:  Patients who receive Medicare benefits typically pay little or nothing for hospice, and many insurance plans include hospice coverage. But don’t take our word for it, check with your medical provider.
  •  Myth #6: Choosing hospice care means giving up on all medical treatment.
    • Truth: Hospice is about putting the patient and their loved ones at the center of the care-planning process, while still monitoring pain management and controlling symptoms.
  • Myth #7: Hospice is only for old people.
    • Truth: The majority of patients receiving hospice care are older adults, but it serves patients of all ages.  Nearly 20% of hospice patients are under the age of 65.

If you think the time has come for you or your loved one to receive hospice care, speak with your doctor, and then contact Absolute Hospice.  We understanding that the process is not easy to begin, that’s why we’ll handle all the details for you. To learn more or to setup hospice care for your loved one, call Absolute Hospice at 330-498-8075.