Though the number of people who choose to die in hospice care increases each year, some myths about hospice perseverate about what hospice is and how it works. Several myths surrounding hospice are cleared up below, offering some education for those considering hospice care.
Myth: Hospice care is for people giving up on life.
Fact: Ultimately, hospice is not about preparing to die. It is about helping you live life to the fullest, with the time you have left. Multiple research studies show that the terminally ill who choose hospice often live longer and have a better quality of life than those who choose aggressive end-of-life medical care.
Myth: Choosing hospice means giving up control.
Fact: Patients and their families make the final decision about when to choose hospice and who provides their care. You are always in control of the level of your care and may come off of hospice at any time. The best care happens when we listen first and coordinate with you, your family and your doctor.
Myth: Hospice care takes place at a hospital or hospice facility.
Fact: Hospice care can be provided anywhere you call home. Whether you are in your home, the home of a family member, in a long-term care community or in the hospital, we are available to come to you.
Myth: Once you choose to begin hospice, you can’t go back.
Fact: Whether your medical condition improves, or you decide to pursue curative treatment again, you can revoke your hospice participation at any time. You may reapply for hospice benefits at a later time, if necessary.
Myth: Hospice care is only for people with a few days or weeks to live.
Fact: While hospice certainly helps patients and families during a medical crisis, the fullest benefit is often achieved when pain and symptoms are managed over time, giving you and your family more opportunity to make personal and spiritual connections.
Myth: Hospice is only for people with cancer.
Fact: Hospice is for patients of any age with a prognosis of six months to live or less. While about one third of U.S. hospice patients have cancer, the others have a range of chronic diseases such as dementia, heart and lung disease, stroke or coma.
Myth: Only your doctor can refer you for hospice care.
Fact: It is important for you and your family to know that anyone can make a referral to hospice. Family, clergy and others can refer a patient, and then request a doctor’s order.
Remember that hospice is not a place, it is a word to describe a philosophy of care. If you are ready to find out more about whether hospice is the right choice for you or your family member, at Anew we are ready to talk with you.
For more information on our Hospice services, please visit AnewCare.com.