Myths About Hospice Care
1. Hospice care really means give up all efforts.
No, hospice care aims to provide comfort with dignity to someone who has been told that nothing can be done. If person has no chances of survival still quality of life can be improved. Love ones can be trained to handle stress and changes going on. In a broader picture hospice care minimize the negative impact of death on society.
2. Hospice care help only cancer or Aids patients only.
No, hospice care is not limited to cancer or Aids. It includes many other life-limiting illnesses such as end-stage heart, lung or kidney disease, or Alzheimer’s and other dementia's. It is always recommended for family members to consult physician or Hospice social worker to check if patient qualify for the hospice care.
3. Hospice is a place where people go to die.
It is true for inpatient hospice, most of the hospice clients receive this service at private residences, assisted living communities, hospitals and long-term-care facilities. Some patients and family members prefer to stay home and some prefer to utilize hospice service in institutional setting.
4. Receiving hospice care means patient is going to die shortly.
Hospice care does not accelerate the process of death and it does not help to prolong the life. It only improves the quality of remaining life. Many patients in hospice care get well and go back to their normal life. There many patients who have received hospice care several times in their lives. So, we cannot say that hospice care always means that patient is going to die.
5. Hospice care will not allow me to keep my physician
No, your physician can be involved in your care. Hospice physician (Medical director has legal responsibilities so he must be involved)
6. It is doctor responsibility to recommend hospice care.
It is better that family members or love ones initiate discussion because sometimes it upsetting for families if doctor initiate this discussion. Patient himself, or family members can consult Hospice social worker to find if patient meets the criteria for the hospice care.
7. Patient cannot quit hospice program.
If patient condition improves or due to any reason patient can quit hospice care and can rejoin when meet the eligibility.
8. Patient can’t receive other treatment with hospice care.
Patient can receive other treatment, if care improves the quality of life and does not prolong life.
9. It must for patient to have DNR to receive hospice care
10. To be eligible for hospice, I have to be in the final stages of dying.
Hospice patients and families receive care for an unlimited amount of time, depending upon the course of the illness. There is no fixed limit on the amount of time a patient may continue to receive hospice services.
11. Reliable care at the end of life is very expensive.
Medicare beneficiaries pay little or nothing for hospice. For those ineligible for Medicare, most insurance plans, HMO’s, and managed care plans cover hospice care.
12. Families are not able to care for people with terminal illnesses.
Family members are encouraged, supported, and trained by hospice professionals to care for their loved ones. Hospice staff is on call to the patient and their families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help family and friends care for their loved ones.
13. Hospice is just for the elderly.
No, Hospice is for anyone facing a terminal illness, regardless of age. Children, Adults and elderly patients all can receive hospice care if they meet the criteria of hospice care.
14. Hospice care ends after patient’s death.
No, it does not always end after patient’s death. Bereavement services and grief support are available to family members for up to one year after the death of a patient. Many families face emotional issues after the death of love ones. Hospice care is available to resolve those issues. We may say hospice care has healing effects on emotions of patient and love ones.
15. Hospice Care is only for people who can accept death.
It is not necessary. Hospice patient must accept that now he does not want medical treatment which can lead to the recovery. While those affected by terminal illness struggle to come to terms with death, hospices gently help them find their way at their own speed. Many hospices welcome inquiries from families who are unsure about their needs and preferences. It is always recommended to contact your physician and hospice social worker to get advice. Hospice staff are readily available to discuss all options and to facilitate family decisions.