Don’t Let Hospice Myths Get in the Way

September 27, 2016

As healthcare and insurance coverage in this country evolves, it is more important than ever that we inform ourselves about our healthcare choices and take a proactive role in the decision-making process.  End-of-life care should be an integral part of a life-long, personalized plan of care for everyone. So why do we delay conversations with our families, friends and physicians about the kind of end-of-life care and experience we want to have?

Although there are myths and misconceptions surrounding hospice care, the mission of Hospice of the Foothills could not be more clear; to affirm life, promote dignity at the end of life, and provide comprehensive and compassionate patient care and support for families.

“If only we’d come to hospice sooner,” is the most frequent comment we hear from patients and their families. Don’t let these myths prevent you from helping your family, friends, and maybe even yourself in a time of great need.

Myth #1: Hospice is for when there is no more hope – it means ‘giving up’.

Reality: Research shows that people receiving hospice care can, depending on the life-limiting illness, live longer than similar patients who do not opt for hospice care.  Our physician participates in weekly team meetings that support patients living life to its fullest.

Myth #2: Hospice is a place.

Reality: Hospice is a philosophy of care providing nursing, emotional and spiritual care focusing on comfort and quality of life. Hospice care is most commonly delivered in patients’ homes.

Myth #3: Hospice is only for the elderly and/or people with cancer.

Reality: Hospice is for anyone with a life-limiting illness, regardless of age or diagnosis.  

Myth #4: Hospice is only for the last days.

Reality: Patients and families can receive care for six months or longer, depending on the progression of the disease.  Bereavement support is available for up to 13 months for those served by HOF.

Myth #5: Only a physician can refer a patient to hospice.

Reality: ANYONE can refer a patient to hospice ⃰.  This includes family members and friends.  Hospice staff members are available to answer questions and facilitate family discussions.

⃰(Physician certification of life-limiting prognosis required.)

 Myth #6: Patients must enroll with the hospice provider their physician recommends.

Reality: Physicians refer patients to hospice care, but patients have the right and ability to choose which hospice provider is right for them.  A patient and family can and should ‘interview’ potential providers.

 Myth #7: Hospice of the Foothills is fully funded by Medicare and other insurance.

Reality: HOF relies on the generosity of our community to provide comprehensive care and a wide range of services, and to sustain our commitment to never turn anyone away.

Talking about end-of-life care and the eventuality of death is healthy. Understanding the options available without the stress of a serious illness or injury, is key to insuring that you live well, in a way that is meaningful to you, for as long as you live.

For more information about our programs and services call 530-272-5739.

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