There are many misconceptions of what hospice is and is not. We have outlined a few common myths below:
Myth: Hospice is only for people in their last days of life
Fact: Hospice care is appropriate for those who have a life limiting illness. A common misconception about hospice is that it is “a last resort” and that a person must be bedridden or unable to communicate in order to receive help. Nothing could be further from the truth. Involving Southern Grace Hospice early ensures more quality time for patients to spend with the people they love, and time to reflect during this peaceful, meaningful time of their life. Recent research indicates that patients receiving hospice care actually live longer than similar patients not receiving hospice care.
Myth: Hospice is a place
Fact: Hospice is not a place, but a philosophy of care providing medical, emotional, and spiritual care focusing on comfort and quality of life. Hospice care usually takes place in the comfort of an individual’s home; but can be provided in any environment in which a person lives, including a nursing home, assisted living facility, or residential care facility.
Myth: Hospice care means giving up hope
Fact: Hospice involves acknowledging that most diseases in their advanced stage cannot be cured. Accepting the services of Southern Grace Hospice does not mean you or your family need to surrender hope or ongoing medical support. A person can continue to hope and plan each day for optimal quality of life, even while no longer pursuing aggressive curative treatments. Hope can be found from helping you and your family achieve the highest possible level of physical comfort and peace of mind. Ultimately, hope means different things to different people, and the compassionate staff of Southern Grace Hospice will be there for you on your journey … to live out whatever hope means to you.
Myth: Hospice means nothing else can be done
Fact: There is a great deal Southern Grace Hospice can do to help you and your loved ones when the focus of care is on providing comfort when there is no cure. Comprehensive services are available to enhance your quality of life and support your family members. Hospice care is about living as fully as possible and making the most of the time you have. It’s about living in comfort and with dignity and helping you and your family have a better quality of life with the support you need.
Myth: Patients can only receive hospice care for a six month period of time
Fact: Hospice care is provided for as long as a patient continues to meet certain requirements set by Medicare. Hospice services are provided in benefit periods and each initial benefit period lasts 90 days. Medicare estimates patients usually in hospice only need two benefit periods. If after six months, however, you are still in need of hospice services, you can receive an unlimited amount of 60-day benefit periods as long as the Hospice Medical director recertifies that you are terminally ill. If you outlive the six-month Medicare estimation, you can go off hospice care and come back when you need it. People sometimes live longer because of the extra care and attention they receive from Hospice and the reduction of stress and increase of comfort seem to benefit health in a very positive way.
Myth: Hospice is just for people who have cancer
Fact: Hospice care is provided for many different diagnoses, not just cancer. Anyone diagnosed with a life-limiting illness can benefit from Hospice care. A few diagnoses we commonly treat are Dementia, Parkinson’s, Heart disease, COPD or Lung disease, neurological diseases such as ALS and MS, Stroke, Kidney Disease and Liver Disease.