4 Common Hospice Care Myths And The Truths Behind Them

Health & Medical Blog

If your loved one has reached a point in their illness where hospice care is mentioned, you may be concerned with all of the preconceived notions you have of this service. Below are four common myths associated with hospice care and the truths behind them.

Myth: Hospice Care Is Only for the Elderly

Truth: Hospice can be utilized by patients of all ages, from infants to the elderly.

The purpose of hospice care is to help patients enjoy the rest of their lives with as little pain as possible. If an individual is diagnosed with a terminal illness and given 6 months or less to live, hospice may be suggested by their doctors as a resource to consider.

Myth: Hospice Care Is Only Offered for a Limited Time

Truth: Hospice care is provided as long as a patient qualifies.

While hospice care is recommended for those with a life expectancy of 6 months or less, life expectancies are just that—expectancies. Guessing the life expectancy of a terminally ill patient can be difficult, which is why some individuals may live longer than expected. At the end of the initial 6-month period, if the patient still qualifies as terminally ill with a life expectancy of less than 6 months, they can continue to use hospice care services.

Myth: Hospice Care Is Only Offered to Those Who are Bedridden

Truth: Those receiving hospice care can be bedridden or not—all that matters is that they're terminally ill and expected to live 6 months or less.

Hospice care is all about maximizing the living experience for patients. Many individuals aren't bedridden in the first few months and are able to use this time to participate in activities that make them happy. Aside from the life expectancy rule mentioned above, there aren't any other qualifiers that must be met, such as being bedridden.

Myth: Receiving Hospice Care Means Giving Up Hope

Truth: Hospice care is about changing attitudes and expecting the final outcome with peace and contentment.

Hospice care isn't offered as a first line of treatment because it isn't a treatment. Hospice is an option for those who no longer benefit from available treatment options or who would prefer to live out their lives how they want. When a patient enters hospice, they aren't giving up hope. Instead, they're embracing their last days with peace and enjoying them to the fullest.

Entering hospice care can be a difficult decision for many. If hospice was suggested to your loved one, it's best to bring all of your questions and concerns to their primary medical professionals. The first steps towards accepting the care offered by hospice is by understanding it. With the above myths now dispelled, you're well on your way to better understanding what hospice is, as well as how it can help your loved one. Talk to a professional in hospice care in your area for more information.


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