There are many that hear hospice and cringe. The word can illicit a response that generally is a mixture of apprehension and avoidance. It is a misconception that is unfortunate. Those these feelings are mostly related to the passing of our life (immortality), since hospice is associated with this, they often go hand and hand. Read common hospice myths below and discover the truths.
Myth: I forgo all other medical care when I go on hospice
Truth: Hospice care provides care for the disease that qualified you for hospice. For other unrelated illnesses or conditions, you are free to continue to seek treatment. An example is if you receive hospice care for Alzheimer’s Disease, you can still get treatment for a broken bone.
Myth: Hospice hastens death
Truth: Data actually shows the opposite. Hospice care does not aim to quicken death; it also doesn’t aim to prolong life through treating incurable diseases. That being said, studies have shown those on hospice care live longer than those not on hospice care.
Myth: Once I’m on hospice, I can’t change my mind
Truth: You can stop hospice care at any time without penalty, and this does not limit you to receive hospice care again. You are free to re-enroll for hospice if you still meet medical eligibility.
Myth: Hospice is just for those with cancer
Truth: Hospice is for anyone with a life-limiting condition that is estimated to have 6 months or less to live. Many life-limiting illnesses include heart disease, dementias or Alzheimers, COPD, end-stage renal disease, or multiple conditions combined.
Myth: I have to have a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order to be on hospice
Truth: A DNR order is not required to be on hospice. However, many do choose to have a DNR in place to avoid unnecessary medical intervention, hospitalization, and painful procedures at this stage of their life. This is inlign with the hospice philosophy of having peace of mind and comfort in a familiar home setting.