Myths About Hospice
Myth: Hospice is a place.
Truth: Hospice is a concept of care for you and your family. Hospice can take place anywhere you call home – your house, board and care, nursing home, assisted living facility, etc.
Myth: Hospice is only for cancer patients.
Truth: Anyone with a disease causing a limited life expectancy of six months or less (as determined by two physicians) is eligible for hospice care. In addition to cancer, some common hospice diagnoses are Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure (CHF), stroke (CVA) and Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS).
Myth: Hospice is only for the patient.
Truth: Hospice focuses on the family as well as your individual care. While the hospice team works with you to achieve your goals of care, the team also focuses on family, friends, and caregivers to offer emotional support and education about the disease process and caring for their loved one.
Myth: Hospice is for the last days of life.
Truth: A person is eligible for hospice when his/her life expectancy is six months or less. One of the most common comments we hear is, “I wish we had started hospice services sooner.”
Myth: Hospice will provide daily care.
Truth: While hospice provides many services, including intermittent visits from nurses, social workers, chaplains, hospice aides and volunteers, it does not provide services for daily personal care (dressing, toileting, meals, feeding, keeping the patient clean, etc.), daily medication administration nor heavy transfers. Around the clock care needs are provided by family, friends, paid caregivers, and/or facility staff.
Myth: Hospice is about dying.
Truth: Hospice is about living. With the help of hospice, you can live the last days, weeks and even months of your life more fully – utilizing the expertise of the Hospice team and focusing on the things that matter most to you.
Myth: Hospice is expensive
Truth: Hospice care is paid for by Medicare, Medi-Cal and private insurance. For patients with no insurance there is a sliding scale. Once enrolled in Hospice, all patients and families receive the same services including medications and equipment related to the terminal diagnosis and the care from a team of professionals.
Myth: A doctor has to make a referral to Hospice
Truth: Anyone can request a no-cost, no-obligation evaluation or information visit from Hospice, whether the patient resides in a private home or a care facility.
Myth: Hospice hastens death
Hospice does nothing to hasten a person’s death or artificially prolong their life. Studies have found that Hospice patients actually lived longer than those not receiving Hospice care.