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Hospice Myths vs. Reality

Myth: Hospice is a place that I must leave my home to use

  • Reality: Hospice care can be provided in the home as well as in local facilities such as nursing homes or hospitals.

Myth: Hospice and palliative care are only for seniors.

  • Reality: Life-limiting conditions affect patients of all ages; care is customized to the disease and not the age. 

Myth: Hospice care is only for patients who can afford "extra" medical expenses.

Reality: Hospice care is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private health insurance.

Myth: Hospice patients can only receive pain medications.

Reality: Patients may remain on other medications as needed while receiving hospice care. 

Myth: Using hospice and palliative care means you or your family are “giving up”.

  • Reality: Hospice care refocuses care towards creating hope of symptom management and quality of life.

  • Reality: Palliative care is received while curative treatment is ongoing.

Myth: Hospice care ends when a patient passes.

Reality: Grief support extends to the patient's family and caregivers for 13 months following the death of a loved one.

Myth: Once admitted to hospice or palliative care, you can never leave. 

Reality: Patients may be discharged from hospice care should they choose.

Myth: Hospice and palliative care are only for cancer patients.

  • Reality: There are many conditions that can create a need for hospice or palliative care such as: cancer, MS, ALS, Parkinson’s, AIDS, stroke, heart conditions, liver disease, lung disease,  kidney disease/failure and other natural effects of aging.

Myth: Hospice care accelerates death.

Reality: Studies show that hospice patients many times live longer and more comfortably than patients not on hospice care with similar life-limiting conditions.

Myth: Hospice care is for when death is imminent.

Reality: Patients with life-limiting conditions can receive the benefits of hospice care when there is a life expectancy of six months or less if a disease runs its normal course.