Top Five Myths About Hospice Care

May 19, 2021 | Share:


Top Five Myths About Hospice Care

Have you ever heard something from a well-meaning friend or family member that seemed truthful at the time, though after looking into it further turned out to be incorrect? Myths often occur because of commonly misunderstood topics. Hospice is one of those often-misunderstood topics.

Unfortunately, because many don’t fully understand hospice, people let too much time pass before asking for help. The team at Hospice of Central PA (HCP) has heard many myths surrounding hospice care and want to address the most common myths to help you make informed decisions on the care that may benefit you or your loved one.

Myth #1: Hospice is a place.

The truth is, hospice is a philosophy of care rather than a facility. Hospice care is a specialized field that focuses on caring and comforting, rather than curing those with life-limiting illness. HCP provides care in the place you call home. That may be your home, or a residential community.

Myth #2: Hospice means you’ve given up.

Rather than giving up, hospice is about making the most of your final days by living them as fully as possible. Through medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support, our goal at HCP is to provide care designed to enhance, comfort, and assist not just the patient, but the loved ones who survive them as well.

Patients and their loved ones can integrate care with their hospice team to make sure their care is individualized. HCP values and respects your final wishes.

Myth #3: Hospice is only for people at the very end of life.

Hospice is intended for patients whose diagnosis limits their life expectancy to six months or fewer. Because serious illness is often unpredictable, there is no time limit on hospice care. You may continue to receive hospice care as long as the hospice medical director or hospice doctor certifies that you’re still terminally ill.

Myth #4: Hospice care is only for those with a cancer diagnosis.

While this was true in the earliest days of hospice care, it is no longer the case. In fact, most people with an advanced illness can benefit from the care provided by a hospice team. Other common diagnoses are congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and dementia.

Myth #5: Once you enter hospice, there’s no turning back.

Though hospice is a specific plan of medical care, it is not final. Hospice is a service recommended to patients with a life-limiting illness for whom a cure is unlikely. The prognosis could change, or available treatments could change which may lead to a change in healthcare priorities. For that reason, hospice patients are free to discontinue hospice care at any time to pursue curative care.

Hospice is about quality of life, and Hospice of Central PA is committed to making each remaining day of every life the best it can be. The earlier you call HCP, the more care, support, comfort, and assistance we are able to provide.