Dispelling 10 Top Hospice Myths
Chapters Health System dispels the top 10 hospice myths to help educate the community about what is true and what is false.
It has been more than a year since the Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters last aired, leaving a void in people’s need to know what is true or false. So today, we take up the reins and set the record straight with regard to hospice myths.
Top 10 Hospice Myths Debunked
Myth #1: Hospice is a place.
Hospice is not a place but a philosophy of care. Wherever a patient calls home is where hospice care is provided: residence, assisted living facility, nursing home, inpatient facility (hospice house) or hospital.
Myth #2: Hospice patients cannot live longer than six months.
Once an individual becomes a patient at Chapters Health Hospice, Good Shepherd Hospice, Hospice of Okeechobee, HPH Hospice or LifePath Hospice, he or she continues to receive services for as long as they are required and appropriate. Hospice services are NOT discontinued unless they are no longer necessary or appropriate, or the patient chooses to stop them. If a patient makes this decision, a revocation form is signed.
Myth #3: Hospice care is only for people with cancer or those who are bedridden or very ill.
Although many patients do have cancer, Chapters Health Hospice, Good Shepherd Hospice, Hospice of Okeechobee, HPH Hospice or LifePath Hospice, serve terminally ill patients of all ages, with all types of progressive and chronic diseases. Many of our patients are able to enjoy life as much as they did before their diagnoses. This fact is especially true if care is accessed early in their illness. Our patients are seen by trained healthcare professionals who can address their medical conditions and support family members. Additionally, hospice care can include complementary therapy such as pet visits.
Myth #4: Hospice care is expensive.
Hospice care is actually less expensive than care provided in a traditional medical setting. Additionally, Medicare, Medicaid and most other insurances cover the cost of hospice care. As a community-based, not-for-profit organization, Chapters Health System and its affiliates never turn away an individual who might need hospice care due to an inability to pay.
Myth #5: Hospice is for patients who do not need a high level of care.
End-of-life care is extremely complex. The interdisciplinary team at each affiliate — Chapters Health Hospice, Good Shepherd Hospice, Hospice of Okeechobee, HPH Hospice or LifePath Hospice — is composed of specially trained physicians, pharmacists, nurses and therapists who can provide comprehensive medical care. Their efforts are complemented by a team of other trained professionals and volunteers who offer a full range of support services, which help the entire family.
Myth #6: Hospice patients require a “Do Not Resuscitate” status prior to admission.
At Chapters Health, we acknowledge and respect the end-of-life choices that our patients and families make. Therefore, we do NOT require “Do Not Resuscitate” status for admission.
Myth #7: Hospice requires family members to provide care to patients.
In many instances, Chapters Health staff trains family members to assist in the care of their loved ones. Family members can call our nursing help hotline—HospiceHelp24®—24/7/365 for assistance. In cases where the patient lives alone or family members are unable to assist with care, the Chapters Health Hospice, Good Shepherd Hospice, Hospice of Okeechobee, HPH Hospice or LifePath Hospice team can help. And lastly, care is possible at any one of our hospice houses if appropriate.
Myth #8: Hospice means “nothing more can be done.”
When a cure is no longer an option, there is still a great deal that can be done to control symptoms, and provide care, comfort and support. The hospice interdisciplinary team includes nurses, physicians, hospice aides, social workers, chaplains, bereavement counselors and trained volunteers. Team members visit patients and families wherever they call home and are available 24/7 for support and care.
Myth #9: Hospice is just for the patient.
Hospice focuses on providing comfort, dignity and emotional support to the patient and their loved ones. Quality of life for all concerned is our highest priority. We are with you and beside you every step of the way.
Myth #10: Once you go to hospice, you can’t change your mind or seek a cure.
Hospice patients always have the right to return to medical care that focuses on curing their disease at any time and for any reason. If a condition improves or the disease goes into remission, a patient can be discharged from hospice and go back to aggressive, curative measures. This is all based on patient choice. If a discharged patient wants to return to hospice care at a later date, Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance companies will allow readmission.
The shared hospice myths examples are just a few of the many misconceptions regarding hospice care. Our interdisciplinary team is well-versed in openly discussing end-of-life wishes and can assist in developing plans to meet patients’ needs and desires.
Chapters Health System is committed to serving the needs of its patients, families, caregivers, health providers, partners and communities.
Discover more details and information about hospice care.
For more information, please call our helpful Chapters Health team at 1.866.204.8611 or Contact Us.