Myths About Hospice Explained
- Myth #1:
It is the philosophy of hospice to neither speed up, nor slow down the natural dying process. However, it is believed that patients may actually live somewhat longer once their pain is adequately managed.
- Myth #2:
Hospice specializes in palliative care; that is, care designed to provide comfort. It is the belief of Alpha Home Health and Hospice that in order to provide overall comfort, illnesses unrelated to the patients' terminal illness must be treated as well. Therefore, illnesses or injuries, such as UTIs, pneumonia, or broken bones, will receive appropriate attention.
- Myth #3:
Many therapies that once prohibited a patient from obtaining hospice services are now considered on a case by case basis. These therapies must be utilized for palliative (comfort) purposes, not as a means of attempting to cure the illness.
- Myth #4:
Although the majority of hospice patients choose to sign a DNR prior to entry into hospice, this is not a requirement for admission. If a patient or family makes the decision to sign a DNR, the document may be signed at any time. DNR status has no bearing on the care that a patient receives while enrolled in hospice services.
- Myth #5:
Hospice care usually takes place in the comfort of your home, but can be provided in any environment in which you live, including skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and residential care facilities.
- Myth #6:
Patients may keep their own physician, who will work closely with Alpha Home Health and Hospice to plan and carry out care. Alpha also has a caring Hospice Doctor when one is needed.
- Myth #7:
While a large number of hospice patients do have a cancer diagnosis, other common diagnoses are congestive heart failure, dementia, chronic lung disease, and other terminal conditions.
- Myth #8:
The Medicare benefit, and most private insurance, pays for hospice care as long as the patient continues to meet the criteria necessary. Patients may come on and off hospice care, and re-enroll in hospice care as needed.