How well do you know hospice care? Unfortunately, there are many myths about hospice that keep families from seeking this form of medical care when it is most needed. If your loved one is seriously ill or facing a poor prognosis, explore your options. Hospice care is provided by doctors who are specially trained in hospice and palliative medicine, as well as a team of caregivers, including nurses, social workers, chaplains, physical therapists, dietitians, volunteers, and others. Seeking this aid can increase your loved one’s level of comfort and potentially lengthen the amount of time you have with them.
Choosing hospice care can be a difficult decision, and there are many myths about hospice that prevent people from seeking help. As a result, many people who need expert pain and symptom management do not take advantage of hospice. We want you to have the facts so you can make the best decision for yourself or your loved one.
Myth #1: Hospice is a place.
Hospice is actually a service that focuses on end-of-life care – it’s not a building. While formal hospice-care facilities do exist, the great majority of hospice care is received in the place the patient calls “home” – a private residence, residential facility, or nursing home. Additionally, hospice care includes the following services:
- Bereavement and grief supportfor family members for up to one year after the passing of a patient
- Pain and symptom relief
- Social and emotional care
- Assistance in organizing financial affairs
- Help in navigating the healthcare system
Myth #2: Hospice should only be called in the last moments of life.
Hospice is designed to be a six-month benefit for people facing a life-limiting illness. Even though there are people who qualify to utilize the services for a longer period of time, a large percentage of people who choose hospice may only have it for a few days or weeks. The earlier hospice is used, the more benefit patients and families receive from the care. Pain and symptom management is more effective when delivered earlier in the disease process.
Myth #3: Hospice is just for the elderly.
Hospice is for anyone facing a life-limiting illness, regardless of age. In fact, “a growing percentage of hospice patients are younger.” Although a large percentage of hospice patients are Medicare and Medicaid recipients, most insurance plans do offer some form of hospice coverage.
Myth #4: Once you seek hospice care, your primary care doctor isn’t involved anymore.
Your loved one’s doctor will likely remain very involved in their care, even after they go on hospice. Hospice care teams are generally comprised of many different types of care providers. Each member plays a different role in caring for the ailing person, but the hospice physician will collaborate with your loved one’s primary physician to coordinate their care. In addition, hospice patients can opt at any time to stop care there or pursue other medical treatment.
Myth #5: Families are not able to care for their loved ones while in hospice.
This myth is simply not true. “Family members are encouraged, supported, and trained by hospice professionals to care for their loved ones. Hospice staff is on call to the patient and their families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help family and friends care for their loved ones.”
Phoenix Home Care
Are you (or a loved one) looking for a home care provider? As you begin exploring your options, check out what Phoenix Home Care has to offer. We provide many home care services, including those that require the assistance of a medical professional, and we are committed to improving the quality of life of each of our clients. If you have any questions, send us a message or call 855-881-7442 to speak with one of our friendly team members. With our help, you will soon be on the journey to a happier, healthier you!