The Misconceptions Surrounding Hospice
There are many misconceptions about hospice, and we’re here to address just a few of them. Naturally, we invite you to speak with one of our admissions representatives to learn answers more specific to your situation.
Misconception #1: Many people believe hospice to be a place, but it is really more of a state of mind. While it can occur anywhere, hospice care usually takes place in the comfort of an individual's home. “Home” of course, can also be a nursing home, assisted living facility, or residential care facility.
Misconception #2: Another is that receiving hospice care is an admission of hopelessness. Nothing could be further from the truth. Putting your loved one into hospice care does not mean giving up hope or that death is imminent. The earlier an individual receives hospice care, the more opportunity there is to stabilize a patient's medical condition and address other needs.
Misconception #3: Many hospice patients and their families are concerned that there’s a time limit to Medicare hospice benefits. Medicare, and most private insurance, pays for hospice care as long as the patient continues to meets the criteria necessary. Patients may come on and off hospice care, and re-enroll in hospice care, as needed.
Misconception #4: Surprisingly, many believe they have no right to make the ‘hospice decision.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. While your physician recommends care, whether hospice or traditional curative care, it is always the patient's right (or in some cases the right of the person who holds power of attorney) and decision to determine when hospice is appropriate and which program suits his or her needs.
Patients also always have the right to reinstate traditional care at any time, for any reason. If a patient's condition improves or the disease goes into remission, he or she can be discharged from a hospice and return to aggressive, curative measures, if so desired. If a discharged patient wants to return to hospice care, Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance companies and HMOs will allow readmission.
We want you to know that hospice is truly focused on the “positive.” Often when faced with a terminal illness, many patients and family members tend to dwell on the imminent loss of life rather than on making the most of the life that remains. Hospice helps patients reclaim the spirit of life. It helps them understand that even though death can lead to sadness, anger, and pain, it can also lead to opportunities for reminiscence, laughter, reunion, and hope.