Myths About Hospice Care

Myth: Hospice is only for people with cancer.
Though many patients do have cancer, Hospice serves terminally ill people
of all ages, with all types of progressive  diseases.  These include heart,
lung, kidney, vascular and neurological diseases, as well as AIDS and Alzheimer’s.

Myth: Hospice is for people who have only a few days to live.
Hospice care can be provided when a cure is no longer possible and it is
believed a patient has six months or less to live.  Many outlive their
expected prognosis. Unfortunately, some patients enter the program too
late to fully benefit from the many services available to them and their
families.  People often tell us, “We wish we would have called Hospice
sooner.”

Myth: Hospice is “giving up”.
With Hospice, medical care focuses on symptom management and quality
of life.  The primary care physician and the Hospice team work together to
provide effective therapies that assure comfort and positive outcomes.

Myth: Hospice care is only provided at home.
Individuals can receive Hospice care wherever they live – usually in their
own homes, but also in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and, at times,
the hospital.

Myth: Hospice care is expensive.
Hospice care is considerably less costly than care provided in other medical
settings.  It is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most other types of
insurance.  No one is ever turned away because of an inability to pay.

Myth: Hospice provides 24-hour care.
Hospice staff and volunteers provide highly skilled visits.  Hospice provides
guidance, education and instruction to family members or others who are
caring for the patient.  Regularly scheduled visits, along with “on call”
availability, complement the caregiver’s ability to provide optimal end-of-life
care.

Myth: Hospice means no more medical treatment.
End-of-life care is extremely complex and requires serious medicine.
Hospice of Warren County has specially trained physicians, pharmacists,
nurses and therapists who provide comprehensive medical care, as well
as state-of-the-art pain and symptom control.  Their efforts are further
enhanced by a team of other professionals and volunteers who provide
a full range of supportive services for the entire family.

Myth: Hospice over-medicates people.
Hospice of Warren County has unmatched expertise in managing pain
and other common symptoms, so patients are as comfortable and alert
as possible or desired, enabling them to enjoy each day to the fullest
extent possible.

Myth: Hospice can’t talk to patients until they have a referral from their physician.
Hospice recognizes that end-of-life issues are diverse, confusing and stressful.
We encourage patients and families to consult with us as soon as possible, so
they are aware of the various options available.  While a physician referral is
ultimately required for admission to the Hospice program, individuals can call
Hospice of Warren County any time for advice or information.

Myth: Hospice is only for people who will accept that they are dying.
Patients and their families often struggle to come to terms with their limited
life expectancies.  Hospice of Warren County can help them address their fears,
feelings and concerns, and show them how to re-define hope as they deal with
their illnesses and circumstances.  We have helped guide thousands of families
through this once-in-a-lifetime experience, and recognize that every patient
and family is unique.

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