Don’t Be Fooled By These Common Misconceptions About Hospice Care
MYTH: Hospice workers hasten death.
MYTH: Hospice is only for cancer patients.
MYTH: Hospice is only for those whose death is days or hours away.
So many times, myths and misinformation can keep you from getting the help you need. Misconceptions such as those listed above have kept many from getting compassionate care from members of a hospice care team.
If you examine the facts, you’ll find that hospice employees only provide medications for symptom relief—not to hasten death. Likewise, hospice is also available for those who have diseases such as COPD, ALS or Parkinson’s. In addition, anyone who has been given six months or less to live can qualify for hospice care.
We’ll take a look at some of the most common misconceptions, provide the truth, and demonstrate how hospice can serve you or someone you love.
The 8 Most Common Misconceptions About Hospice Care
1. MYTH: Hospice Is a Place Where People Go When They Are Dying
Actually, most hospice patients are able to receive care wherever they call home—whether that is a residence, nursing home or assisted living community. Patients aren’t automatically “sent to a hospice” once they qualify for the service.
However, if there are cases where pain and symptom management can’t be handled at a private home, care can be provided at an inpatient hospice facility.
3HC has two of these hospice centers where patients receive the compassionate assistance they need. These are not nursing homes or hospitals. In fact, they are relaxing environments where patients can be at peace with emotional, spiritual and clinical support. These residences allow our patients to be surrounded by family and friends.
Our hospice centers include: the Kitty Askins Hospice Center, and the SECU Crystal Coast Hospice House.
2. MYTH: People Die Faster in Hospice Care
There’s a common misconception about hospice care that employees “kill patients,” or that healthcare workers hasten death. This is simply not true.
Hospice care focuses on symptom relief by providing help for anxiety, pain and difficulty breathing. This allows for a peaceful, dignified, natural death. Medications administered during this time are to manage symptoms.
3. MYTH: Only Elderly People Are Eligible for Hospice
This is another one of the common misconceptions about hospice care. We provide hospice care to anyone of any age who is eligible. In fact, at 3HC, we also have pediatric hospice services. Through these services, we strive to add as much comfort and joy to each day as possible. Our pediatric care spans ages from birth to young adulthood.
4. MYTH: Hospice Is Only For Those with Cancer
As we mentioned earlier, hospice serves those with a variety of serious illnesses. While cancer was the most common diagnosis among Medicare hospice patients, the second and third highest were heart disease (at 17 percent) and dementia (15 percent).
Hospice patients may have other diseases such as:
- Kidney disease
- Neurological disorders
- Parkinson’s disease
5. MYTH: Only Your Doctor Can Bring Up Hospice
Did you know that you can begin the conversation with your doctor about hospice? Your doctor will determine if you meet the medical requirements, but you can talk about the possibility of hospice care. You don’t have to wait for your doctor to bring it up, and anyone can refer their loved one to get hospice care.
6. MYTH: Hospice Care Only Supports the Patient
We want to emphasize that hospice care helps the entire family. Through grief counseling and other programs, we provide support and assistance. We recognize that caring for the patient means caring for their loved ones as well.
7. MYTH: All Hospice Employees are Volunteers
While hospice uses the services of volunteers, we also employ a medical team. This team is composed of doctors, nurses, and nursing assistants. In addition, we also employ chaplains and social workers. This reflects our dedication to caring for the whole patient.
At 3HC, all of our employees and volunteers have received extensive training and have specialized experience in working with hospice patients and their families.
8. MYTH: Hospice Care is Unaffordable
This is perhaps one of the most common misconceptions about hospice care. Hospice care is easily within reach. Medicare, Medicaid, and many private insurance companies will cover the cost of hospice care.
3HC Provides Compassionate, Comprehensive Hospice Services for the Whole Family
This is one of the most difficult and challenging events you and your family will face.
But there is hope.
You are never alone on your journey.
We provide you (or your loved one) the services they need to live their days as pain-free as possible, full of dignity and a higher quality of life. Whether there is a need for medical symptom relief or spiritual support from one of our chaplains, we have a location near you, and we are ready to help.
Do you have additional questions? Don’t fall for these common misconceptions about hospice care we listed above. Instead, contact us for more information and to get the facts.