Understanding What Hospice Really Is

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Explaining The Myths About Hospice

Hospice Is A Place You Go To Die

This is absolutely not true. Hospice is there to help the patient be as comfortable as possible and live out their remaining days in dignity. Did you know that those who are on hospice tend to live 29 days longer than those who choose not to elect their hospice benefit. That may not seem like a lot but it may mean the world to the family and friends who get to spend additional quality time with their loved one.

Hospice Comes Into your Home At the End

Hospice is actually a Medicare benefit that not only helps with managing symptoms and provides comfort care, it also helps you and your family with emotional and spiritual support. It can be provided wherever you or your loved one calls home. An assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care, or your own home.

You Have To Be Ready For Hospice To Have It

You do not have to be ready for hospice. You or your loved one just need to be eligible. A medical director and hospice nurse would come do an evaulation to see if the patient's prognosis is 6 months or less and determine what the primary diagnosis is to determine if the patient is eligible. A patient is then re-certified for eligibility every 90 days. Some patients graduate off hospice because of an extended diagnosis and this does actually happen sometimes.

Once You Go On Hospice You Must Stay On Until You Die

If you decide hospice is not for you or your loved one you can revoke your hospice benefit and go back onto Medicare or your regular insurance plan. You can also cancel hospice with one company and look for another one if you are not happy with the first one. You can also decide to seek further treatment for your illness at anytime as long as you notify hospice first so they can take you out of it per the rules of care.

Palliative Care And Hospice are the Same Thing

Both of these share the same goal which is to provide pain management and comfort for the patient. However, palliative care is for chronic diseases where curative treatments may be done and there may not be a prognosis of less than 6 months. Hospice does have to have that prognosis AND the patient may not elect to seek curative treatments. Palliative care has a nurse practitioner and physician who take care of the patient 1-2 times per month and hospice care has a team of many individuals that care for the patient several times a week. Those might include a medical director, hospice nurse, social workers, various therapists, spiritual care, etc.

Did you know that hospice care provides a lot of great benefits for people before they are to sick to benefit from them?

People on hospice can get a hospital bed that allows the person to read better at night in addition to maybe assisting with better sleeping and breathing or by having the option to move up or down. They can provide things like a better fitting wheelchair. Getting on hospice BEFORE you are bedridden can help a person live more comfortably which is the goal of hospice. I gad no idea all that is available to someone.

Hospice Quick Facts


People wait too long to start hospice services.


Hospice is a service not a place.


Hospice is a variety of different services not one.


Hospice is for families not just patients.


People who use hospice services have an improved quality of life.


People receiving hospice services have fewer hospitalizations.


Using hospice services can lower many costs for families.