As we counsel families through the process of selecting compassionate service when hospice is recommended, we encounter a myriad of widely-believed myths about hospice care that prevent many people from getting the support they need when they need it. Here, we aim to debunk the most common hospice myths we hear and, in the process, remove any barriers to care you’ve been facing as a result of these misconceptions.
#1 – Hospice requires admission to a facility
All too often, those who can benefit from hospice services believe they’ll be admitted to an inpatient facility in order to receive those services. In actuality, hospice providers provide care at home, in the hospital, in a skilled nursing setting, or anywhere else you are.
#2 – Hospice is only for those with cancer
While terminal cancer often warrants hospice services, patients with a wide variety of diagnoses benefit from hospice. Those with cancer comprise just a percentage of all patients receiving compassionate care for terminal illness.
#3 – Hospice expedites the dying process
There is no component of hospice care that hastens the death process. Rather, hospice care ensures your wishes are respected, your pain is well-managed, and you are comfortable despite the disease process.
#4 – Hospice is reserved for the privileged
While many people feel hospice services are reserved for the privileged, Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance carriers cover the cost of hospice. Perhaps even more important, those who are unable to pay are never denied services.
#5 – End of life is painful regardless of treatment
Certain diagnoses cause more pain than others, but a key component of quality hospice care is the patient’s comfort. Hospice providers are experts in alleviating pain without causing sedation so you or your loved one can spend their remaining time in meaningful ways.
#6 – You can only receive six months of care
While a prognosis of six months or less is required to qualify for hospice care, prognoses aren’t always correct. When patients are given the gift of more time, hospice care continues – even beyond six months.
Additionally, palliative care services are similar to hospice and don’t require a terminal diagnosis. Inquire about palliative care services if you’re seeking an improved quality of life but may not qualify for hospice.
#7 – Hospice is chosen for you
While your primary care provider can refer you to hospice services and recommend a hospice provider, you don’t need a provider’s referral to receive services. A friend or family member can refer you or you can even refer yourself. Furthermore, you can choose the hospice provider that best meets your needs.
To learn more about hospice services – including our philosophy of care at Santé – visit us online or in person today. It is our life’s work to keep you comfortable during this deeply personal process.