There are a number of misconceptions about hospice care. Here are some of the top myths-- along with the facts.
1. Hospice is a place. Hospice is a specialized type of care that focuses on the comfort of the patient wherever they may be. This includes hospitals, nursing homes, hospice facilities, or the patient’s home.
2. Accepting hospice care means you are giving up hope or choosing death. Choosing hospice means that you are choosing to focus on the quality of your life. It gives you a chance to engage in activities that really matter like spending time with the people you love.
3. Hospice is only for people who are extremely close to death. Many people can benefit from an extended stay in hospice care. Accepting care early on can help stabilize the patient and ensure all their needs are taken care of. Being in hospice can also give someone time to settle parts of their life they don’t want to leave unfinished.
Additionally, hospice care doesn’t have an expiration date. Someone can receive hospice care until they no longer meet the criteria.
4. Hospice is just for the person who has a life-limiting illness. Hospice provides support for the entire family. As a family-centered program, it offers emotional support for everyone involved before, during, and after death. Additionally, many hospices provide grief and bereavement services to anyone who needs them.
5. Hospice is only for seniors. Anyone with a life-limiting illness can receive hospice care, no matter their age.
6. Hospice is only for cancer patients. Over 60% of people admitted to hospice care in 2014 had a non-cancer diagnosis. Hospice care is for anyone with a chronic medical condition. Most commonly, people are admitted for dementia, heart disease, and lung disease.
7. Hospice is expensive. Medicare covers some of the costs of Hospice. And many private healthcare providers include hospice as a benefit. In some areas, hospice programs receive gifts from funders like Hospice Giving Foundation.