Myths about Hospice Care
By Sherry Little, Texoma and Denton LIVING WELL Magazines
Myth: Hospice means giving up hope.
In hospice, you will find hope for living every moment fully until the end of life, hope for relief of pain and symptoms, hope for freedom from isolation, loneliness, abandonment, and loss of control, and hope for the completion of personal goals and a life well-lived.
Myth: Medicare, Medicaid and other resources only allow for six months of hospice care, so delay enrollment as long as possible.
Patients may begin benefiting from services when, in the opinion of their physician, their illness is terminal with a prognosis of six months or less. When that is the reasonable expectation of your physician, delaying enrollment only limits the benefits to the patient and family members. Home Hospice patients benefit most from enough time to achieve desired comfort levels, spend with family and friends, fulfill some personal goals for this part of life, and to say good-bye. This is best done before the patient becomes completely bedfast and the family completely exhausted.
Myth: Hospice care is expensive.
Hospice should not be a financial burden. Medicare and Medicaid have a hospice benefit, and most insurance companies now offer a similar benefit. Home Hospice does not charge a co-pay for services, thus little, if any, out-of-pocket expense is incurred. Home Hospice, as this area’s only nonprofit hospice, provides care regardless of ability to pay. In sharp contrast to the huge financial expenses at the end of life that may be incurred when hospice is not used, this expert care represents a very affordable option.
Myth: All hospices are the same or “a hospice is a hospice is a hospice…”
There are over 5,300 hospices in this country. Patients and families are responsible for choosing a hospice. Discover which hospice providers serve your location; ensure that the provider is licensed, certified and accredited; determine the range of services provided, particularly in the areas of bereavement and volunteer services, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. The hospice you choose will be caring for you or your loved one at a time when the very best, most compassionate care is expected.
For more information, go to nhpco.org; to homehospice.org, or call 903-868-9315 or email email@example.com.