Common Misconceptions About Hospice

  1. Hospice is a physical place.
    Many people think that hospice is a place to go, but many of our patients receive our services in the comfort of their home. Generally, patients are only admitted to inpatient hospice care if their symptoms cannot be managed by their caregiver in their home. In-home hospice care is a great option for those who want to stay comfortable and surrounded by family and loved ones.
  2. Hospice care is only for the patient who is dying.
    Hospice care is for the patient with a life limiting illness and for their family. Many of our services focus on providing spiritual and emotional support for the loved ones to understand and cope with the final stages of the patient’s life.
  3. Hospice care is expensive.
    If the patient is a Medicare beneficiary, then they pay little to nothing for hospice. For those with other insurance, most plans cover hospice care.
  4. If I choose hospice, I can’t keep seeing my primary care physician.
    Although our hospice agency will have a physician follow all aspects of your care. If you prefer, your primary care physician can remain your doctor.
  5. Hospice hastens death.
    Obviously, most hospice patients do pass away within hospice care, and this likely explains how this misconception came to be. But the truth is, hospice care does not speed up death. In fact, those who employ hospice care may live longer and more comfortably than those who choose not to use hospice services.
  6. Hospice is only used in the very last weeks of life.
    Hospice care begins when the patient’s physician gives a prognosis of six months or less if the disease follows the expected course. Hospice often provides such comfort and support that many outlive their expected prognosis.
  7. Hospice means the patient no longer has a say in their care.
    Hospice care is the exact opposite of this misconception. Hospice care focuses the wants and needs of the patient. Our services are designed to address your issues and help give you comfort.
  8. The patient can never return to regular medical treatment once on hospice.
    In some situations the patient has shown improvement in their condition or wishes to return to curative treatment. If that is their request they can be discharged from hospice at any time.
  9. Hospice requires that you give up medication.
    Hospice care focuses on making the patient as comfortable as possible. This means that some patients may choose to give up medications that have heavy side effects. However, all decisions related to medication are left up to the patient and their loved ones.
  10. Hospice care ends when the patient dies.
    This misconception is not true. Our bereavement services are offered for family members for a minimum of one year after their loved one has passed away.