Choosing hospice care can be a difficult decision for you or for your loved one. With hospice misconceptions, people who could truly benefit never receive these services out of fear. Naturally, no one likes to dwell on the subject of death. People tend to sweep it out of the way until the option is staring them in the face.

Hospice, in fact, is so much more than reliving ones suffering – it’s a way to live. As you read, our team at McCortney Family Hospice will be debunking the six common hospice misconceptions. Our goal is to arm you with the facts so that you can make the best decision for you or your loved one.

Myth 1: You have to go to a center to receive hospice care.

Hospice is a philosophy focused on comforting patients, supporting families and helping people live fully as possible in the time they’ve been given. You have the opportunity to receive care wherever you feel most comfortable. Your home, the hospital, an assisted living center — you name it.

Myth 2: Hospice means the patient will soon pass away.

One of the biggest hospice misconceptions is that to receive care, the patient must be expected to live six months or less. Completely untrue, there is no rule determined by life expectancy. Medicare gives assistance in the form of benefit periods, each lasting 90 days. Most often, the company estimates that people in hospice only need two of these periods. If patients outlive that, though, there’s option to stay on with hospice care or re-enroll at a later date. The benefit may even pay for your hospice care as long as you continue to meet the necessary criteria.

Myth 3: Hospice is only for terminal illness.

Today, more than half of hospice patients have congestive heart failure, Alzheimer’s, chronic lung disease, or other illnesses. The mission of hospice is to provide care to those who need it, regardless of whether it’s terminal.

Myth 4: Hospice is just for the patient.

False, once again. Hospice care focuses on the comfort and dignity of the patient. In addition to fostering quality of life for the patient, emotional support is also provided to family members and other caregivers.

Myth 5: Patients must give up their family doctor and medications.

This is one of the hospice misconceptions we hear often. Patients are free to keep their own physician, also having the opportunity to work closely with the McCortney Family Hospice staff. Many people also assume that you have to stop taking medications. While hospice does focus on relief rather than curative, the decision is left to the patient.

Myth 6: There’s a time limit on Hospice care.

A patient can opt out of hospice any time, and for any reason. If after a period of recovery the patient wants to return to hospice, Medicare may have the ability to pay for extended coverage. At the end of the day, it’s about what’s right for you or your loved one.

Hospice care aims to help patients live the fullest, providing support to both the patient and their family. When you’re making a decision about hospice care, it’s best to know the facts. If you have any questions about Hospice, don’t be afraid to give our team at McCortney Family Hospice a call. We’re always here, and always caring.