Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hospice Myths

Hospice is one of the most misunderstood health care specialties around.  I want to address a few of the most common myths we here over and over.

Myth: Hospice is just for the final days.
Reality:Patients can be on hospice for a few days, a few weeks, a few months and for some even years.  The sooner a patient is referred to hospice and can begin to receive the compassionate care focused around improving their quality of life, the better.  Too often, we hear, “I wish we would have called sooner.”  This is a heartbreaking statement to hear.  It is never too early to begin the conversation and know what your options and loved ones wishes are so there aren’t delays when the time comes for hospice services.

Myth: Hospice is only for the elderly.
Reality:There are no age requirements to receive hospice care.  We have had patients as young as 2 months all the way up to 110. 

Myth:  Hospice is only for cancer patients.
Reality:  In 2011, over 60% of our patients were on hospice because of diseases not associated with cancer.  Hospice is for any diagnosis that meets the criteria of being a life-limiting terminal illness.  This myth dates back to when hospice began in America and at that time, was primarily a service for cancer patients.  This just simply is not true today. 

Myth: Hospice is giving up.
Reality:  This just might be one of the hardest myths to address because this involves a person’s mindset.  Hospice is the farthest thing from giving up.  While yes, it is true that you are choosing to no longer seek curative treatment, it is not true that you, your family or your doctor are giving up on you.  Hospice is about giving the gift of life until the last second.  It is about providing comfort and quality time to be with your loved ones.

For more information, visit Circle of Life Hospice online at or call me at 479-750-6632.