Common Myths About Hospice Care

Written by: Cypress HomeCare Solutions

November is National Hospice Month, which is the perfect time to discuss a topic that is often delicate to address with loved ones. It’s hard to think about the possibility of death, and it can be tempting for some people to avoid thinking about hospice altogether. However, hospice is an important part of end-of-life care for many patients. Hospices provide comfort in the form of pain management, symptom control, emotional support, and spiritual care when someone has a terminal illness or life-limiting condition. There are many common myths about hospice that need to be debunked to improve end-of-life care for all patients.

Myth #1: Hospice Care Hastens the Dying Process

Reality: In fact, studies have shown that patients who receive in-home care services, including hospice care, actually live longer than those who don’t! This is because, instead of focusing on trying to prolong life by using high-intensity medical interventions, hospice focuses on comforting and supporting patients in their final months.

Myth #2: Hospice Care Is a One-Size-Fits-All Solution That Doesn’t Take into Account the Patient’s Personality or History

Reality: That couldn’t be further from the truth! The first hospice meeting between patient and provider should include an extensive interview to determine the patient’s needs. Then, a care plan is created from that information and used throughout the patient’s hospice journey.

Myth #3: Hospice Care Means Giving Up on Treatment and Embracing a “Do-Nothing” Approach To Fighting Illness

Reality: Hospice care means that patients and their loved ones must work together to determine which treatments are appropriate for the patient. Pain management, symptom control, and emotional support can all be administered by a hospice team member, who is an expert in managing symptoms at the end of life.

Myth #4: Hospice Care Means Giving Up

Reality: By definition, hospice care is a supportive service that empowers patients and their loved ones during this difficult time. The goal of all hospice staff members is to ensure that patients are comfortable, cared for, and well-supported at the end of life.

Myth #5: Hospice Care Is Only for Cancer Patients

Reality: Hospice care is usually associated with cancers, but it can support any terminal diagnoses or illnesses, including heart disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. Cancer (29.6 percent) was the most common diagnosis among Medicare hospice patients, followed by circulatory/heart disease and dementia (per the NHPCO).

National Hospice Month is the perfect time to learn more about the myths and misconceptions surrounding hospice care, in order to make the best decisions for our aging loved ones when the time comes. Remember, individuals may receive hospice care at home since it is an option for in-home care services. To learn more about our in-home care services, call us today.

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