Medical specialists rarely bring up the topic of hospice care to patients and their families for the reason that several misconceptions come along with the word “hospice”. Three major misconceptions are: first, it is synonymous with giving up on your loved one; second, it is expensive to secure hospice care services; and third, hospice care is not medical care.
Taking care of a loved one who is months away from his or her last day is heavy—physically, emotionally, and financially. Preparing for what’s to come is the first step.
Misconceptions are brought by the lack of inquiry. Make sure you ask the right questions: Is there an available hospice service provider in your area? What will you and dying your loved one benefit from hospice care? What kinds of services should you expect? Is the hospice service provider a licensee of Medicare? What is and what is not covered by your insurance?
There are numerous articles on the internet challenging the myths about hospice. This list may be short, but it is supported by facts.
MYTH NUMBER 1: Hospice care will only hasten your loved one’s death.
FACT NUMBER 1: This study conducted by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization shows that terminally ill patients survive longer under the hospice care system than those who do not. Hospice care aims to prepare the patient and his or her family on the current and future circumstances. This shows how peace of mind can contribute to the overall health of the patient, regardless of the end that’s about to come.
MYTH NUMER 2: Acquiring hospice services means letting other people do the job of taking care of your loved one.
FACT NUMBER 2: Family members are still involved in hospice care. As a matter of fact, it is a collaborative program between family members and medical professionals. This is where communication between the family members and the team of caretakers will play a big role in making sure the patient receives the type of aid he or she needs. Remember, hospice care is centered on the patient. Having a strong professional relationship with your hospice care provider will make the final period easier for your loved one, and the rest of the family.
MYTH NUMBER 3: You will regret choosing hospice care for your loved one.
FACT NUMBER 3: This study shows that family members whose loved ones went through the wearying battle against cancer are satisfied with hospice services. The patients, themselves, are happier to go through a hospice care program because it gives them the freedom to live their final days according to their desires.
MYTH NUMBER 4: Hospice care is not medical care.
FACT NUMBER 4: Hospice care requires team-based effort from the following: hospice care administrator, hospice nurse case manager, hospice medical director, attending physician, medical social workers, hospice nurse practitioner, chaplain, certified home health aides, and even volunteers. This team is organized mainly to provide holistic comfort for your loved one– comfort that is not limited to physical wellness, but also psychological, spiritual, and emotional.
MYTH NUMBER 5: Hospice care is expensive.
FACT NUMBER 5: Medicare will cover the therapies, equipment, and services assigned to your loved one by his or her attending physician. The amount will also vary depending on the other private insurance you have.
Acquiring help during the final days will not entirely ease the pain of losing someone, but it will provide enough support for you and your family to focus on the most important matter at hand: cherishing the moments you have left with your loved one.