Hospice Myths and Facts

Fact: Hospice care does not mean you have given up.

Fact: Hospice care does not mean you are counting down the days to good-bye.

Fact: Hospice is here to make every day you have the best it can be through medical, emotional and spiritual support.

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about hospice services and what hospice can and will do for terminally ill patients and their loved ones.

Here are a few of the misbeliefs we hear from families who come to United Hospice.

Myth: Hospice care is for individuals who are very close to death.
Fact: An early referral to our program enables individuals and families to fully benefit from our services and support. If you think you or a loved one might benefit from hospice services, feel free to call us.

Myth: Choosing hospice means the patient no longer receives treatments or therapies.
Fact: Treatments or therapies may be administered to provide comfort care. When appropriate patients receive care and treatment such as physical therapy, massage therapy and music therapy in an effort to maximize their functioning and quality of life.

Myth: Hospice patients must be home bound.
Fact: Patients need not be home bound to receive services. We help patients to be as active as possible.

Myth: Hospice provides care only for patients.
Fact: Hospice also focuses attention on the patient’s family. Emotional and spiritual support as well as caregiver education and volunteer services are geared to meet the needs of loved ones.

Myth: Only senior citizens can receive hospice services.
Fact: Hospice care is available for people of all ages – infants, children, adults and seniors.

Myth: Hospice only provides care for people diagnosed with cancer.
Fact: Hospice provides care for seriously ill individuals and their loved ones regardless of diagnosis.

Myth: Hospice patients can no longer see their own physician.
Fact: Hospice encourages patients’ physicians to follow the patient and participate in their care.

Myth: Hospice care is only for those with private insurance.
Fact: Hospice serves everyone, regardless of ability to pay. Community hospice care is fully covered under Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans.

Myth: Hospice patients must have a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order in place in to receive services.
Fact: There is NO requirement for a patient to have a DNR order except at the Joe Raso Hospice Residence.

Myth: Once someone is admitted onto the hospice program, they cannot leave.
Fact: Individuals can choose to discontinue hospice services at any time.

Myth: Accepting hospice care means that hope is lost.
Fact: Hope for cure is transformed to hope for comfort, acceptance and peace.

Myth: Hospice staff encourages the use of morphine for all hospice patients.
Fact: Morphine is often used to control pain or shortness of breath. Not all patients experience these symptoms. Each person’s symptoms are controlled in consultation with their physician in a way that works best for them.

Myth: If I don’t make use of every possible technology available, or if I tell the doctor to stop using machines to keep me or my loved one alive, I am essentially killing myself or him/her.
Fact: It is the illness that will cause your/your loved one’s death, not the decision to forego further treatment or extraordinary measures.

If you have questions about hospice care or services, United Hospice is here to provide honest answers and the support you and your loved ones need to get through a difficult time.