Myths vs Facts:

Myth: Hospice means giving up hope.

Fact: Hospice does not mean “giving up hope”, but can help people revise what they may hope for. Hospice focuses on maximizing the quality of life based on an individual's choices, so that the person may live life as fully as possible for as long as possible.

Myth: Hospice is a place.

Fact: Hospice care usually takes place in the home, but can be provided in any environment in which you live, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and residential care facilities.

Myth: Hospice means that the patient will soon die.

Fact: Receiving hospice care does not mean that death is imminent. The earlier an individual receives hospice care, the more opportunity there is to stabilize the medical condition and address other needs. While hospice care is generally focused on patients where life expectancy is six months or less, some individuals actually improve and may be discharged from hospice care. They can then be re-admitted later when it is necessary.

Myth: Hospice is only for elderly individuals.

Fact: Hospice care is for individuals of all ages facing a life-threatening illness.

Myth: Hospice is only for cancer patients.

Fact: Hospice care is available to all terminally ill individuals and their families, regardless of diagnosis. Some of the most common non-cancer diagnosis are congestive heart failure, dementia, chronic lung disease, failure to thrive, or other conditions.

Myth: Individuals have to give up their own doctor.

Fact: Individuals may keep their own physician, who will work closely with the Hospice team of healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and medical social workers to plan and carry out care.

Myth: Individuals can only receive hospice for six months; therefore enrollment should be delayed as long as possible.

Fact: Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance pays for hospice care as long as the individual meets the medical criteria, which may result in receiving hospice care longer than six months. Some individuals actually improve and may be discharged from hospice care. They can re-enroll in hospice care when necessary.

Myth: Hospice provides 24 hour care.

Fact: Hospice care is based upon intermittent visits but is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for support and care. Hospice can help the family arrange 24 hour care by a private duty provider if necessary.

Myth: Families have to pay for hospice care.

Fact: Hospice care is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurances. Home Health &Hospice Care wants all families to have access to hospice care, regardless of their ability to pay. For families uninsured or underinsured, application for subsidized care is available.

Myth: Hospice is just for the patient.

Fact: Hospice provides comfort care to patients, as well as respite and emotional support to family members. The quality of life – not only for the patient, but also family members and others who are caregivers – is the highest priority. Bereavement support is offered for at least a year following the death of a loved one.