Myths About Hospice Care


Hospice care is only for those who have a few days or weeks to live.  False!  To be eligible to receive hospice care, a doctor must certify that the individual has a prognosis of 6 months or less if their terminal disease runs its natural course.  However, no one knows exactly how much time any of us has remaining and some people receive hospice care for a year or more.

Hospice patients must be bed bound.  False!  Hospice care is designed to empower and enable terminally ill individuals to enjoy the best possible quality of life for however long they are physically able.  Our patients are encouraged to LIVE, one even fulfilling his dream of skydiving!

Hospice care is probably expensive.  False!  For Medicare beneficiaries and Medicaid recipients, there is NO out of pocket expense for hospice care.  Many people have worked hard for decades and earned their Medicare benefits; we encourage them to take advantage of what they’ve earned.  We also work with subscribers of private insurance to utilize hospice care benefits through their medical policy.

Hospices give their patients lots of medicines that make them sleep all the time.  False!  Hospice care is driven by the person’s family doctor or the hospice Medical Director taking into careful considering the patient’s wishes.  The hospice team will ask about the patient and family’s preferences regarding medicines, treatments, etc. Every person is different and their individual wishes will be honored by hospice staff, even if those wishes include refusing medications.

Hospices deprive patients of all medical treatment.  False! The goal of hospice care is to make sure that each patient is comfortable and free of pain and symptoms of the terminal illness.  For example, the hospice team will make sure that symptoms like shortness of breath, pain, anxiety, and nausea are addressed to the patient and caregiver’s satisfaction.

If I accept hospice care, I’m giving up on my loved one.  False!  Accepting hospice care is exactly the opposite of giving up.  Accepting hospice care is choosing to live the BEST quality of life possible by having your terminal illness managed in the comfort and privacy of your own home, nursing facility, assisted living, or hospital.

Hospice staff will be judgmental of my situation.  False!  The team at Affinity Hospice meets each individual where they are. We aren’t interested in anyone’s past, only helping them to enjoy and LIVE in the present!