Myth #1: Hospice is only for people with cancer:
About one-half of the hospice patients nationwide have diagnoses other than cancer. THis group is made up of people who have COPD, congestive heart failure, liver disease, kidney disease... any disease process that has reached its end stage. Dementia and Alzheimer's patients can also qualify for hospice care.
Hardin County Hospice is very skilled at managing symptoms of cancer and is equally skilled at managing symptoms of other diseases.
Myth #2: Hospice means that the patient will die soon:
Receiving hospice care does not mean that death is imminent. The earlier an individual receives hospice care the more time the hospice team has to manage symptoms and provide the support needed to make appropriate end of life decisions. This support may be in the form of physical care, psychosocial care, or spiritual care.
Myth #3: Hospice means giving up hope:
Hope looks different in hospice care, but it is not lost. It may mean redefining hope. Where a patient hoped for a cure, they may now hope to be pain-free. Hope may mean seeing a long lot freind or relative or taking a trip to the beach. Hope may mean being able to spend as much time as possible with loved one, or remaining at home rather than going to the hospital.
Myth #4: Once a patient elects hospice care, they cannot return to traditional medical treatment:
Patients have the right to reinstate traditional care at any time, for any reason. If a patient's condition improves or the disease goes into remission, they can be discharged from hospice care. If the situation changes again sometime in the future, the patient can be readmitted to hospice care.
Myth #5: The physician decide if a patient should receive hospice care and which agency should provide that care:
When discussing end of life issues, the role of the physician is to recommend care choices, whether it be continued traditional care or hospice care. It is the patient's right and decision (or in some cases, the right of the person who holds power of attorney) to decide if hospice is the right choice and which hospice program suits his needs. Before enrolling in a hospice program, the physician must certify that a patient has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and has a limited life expectancy.
Myth #6: All hospice programs are the same:
All certified hospice programs must provide certain services, but the amount of support and the programs available may differ. Business models differ. Some bill patients and family for co-pays and care not covered by insurance. Other provide care regardless of insurance availability and used donated funds to help cover the cost of care. Some hospice are not-for-profit, while other are for-profit. It is important to compare services and cost of the available hospice to determine which program will best meet the patient's and family's needs.