According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 1.3 million people received hospice care services during 2013. Surprisingly, because a lot of us feel the topic is too sensitive or taboo, many of us avoid talking about end-of-life topics. This leaves individuals, like yourself, looking into hospice care for their loved ones unprepared for the process. However, some of these same people may also be reluctant to seek such care due to the following hospice myths.
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10 Hospice Myths Debunked
When you think of hospice care, you may have some preconceived notions about what these services involve. Here are some common myths surrounding hospice care along with insight into what services it can offer.
1. Hospice is only for the final days of life.
Sufficient time to manage systems and establishing a trusting relationship allows for the patient to increase the benefits of hospice services. Some hospice patients and their families can receive care for six months or longer.
2. Choosing the benefits of hospice services means you’ve given up hope.
While finding a cure may no longer be an alternative, hospice focuses on fulfilling the hope of living each and every day to the fullest.
3. Hospice care is extremely expensive.
If you are a Medicare beneficiary, there may be little to no cost to you for your hospice services. Other insurance plans including HMOs and managed care plans include provisions for hospice coverage.
Related: What Are the Medicare Hospice Benefits I Need to Know About?
4. Once you enter into hospice services, you have to find a new doctor.
In most cases, your current doctor can work with the hospice care providers to create a care plan that works for your needs.
5. Hospice care means that you’ve given up on receiving medical treatment.
Quite the contrary. Hospice services focus on creating a plan of care which includes pain management and symptom control.
6. Hospice care is sad and lonely.
While your family is facing a difficult time, hospice is meant to elevate the quality of life and ease the transition. Not only does care support the patient but also the family members of those who are providing care for their loved one. Hospice professionals provide support and training intended to help them to fulfill the needs of their loved one. Also, social support and grief counseling is often available to make the process a compassionate and understanding one.
7. Hospice care is restricted to elderly patients.
It is intended to provide comfort and improve the quality of life for any individual facing life-limiting circumstances regardless of their age.
8. Hospice is a place.
Hospice is a philosophy rather than a building; that focuses on increasing the comfort and quality of life for individuals through medical and emotional care, and services are provided wherever the need arises.
Related: Comfort & Quality of Life: What Is Hospice, and Who Needs It?
9. Hospice is only for those with cancer.
Hospice services are not limited to those with cancer or any particular ailment. According to the American Hospice Foundation, more than half of all hospice patients have a diagnosis other than cancer, including those with HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular diseases.
10. Hospice is only for people who don’t need a high level of care.
Most hospice care providers have experienced medical and nursing professionals on staff who are skilled in the needs of symptom control unique to each patient under their care. They employ advanced technologies which used in the prevention and alleviation of distressing symptoms.
As you can see, hospice can be an excellent benefit to those facing life-limiting circumstances. To learn more about the truth behind these common hospice myths, or if you have any questions about the services we provide contact us for more information.