10 Myths of Hospice
Written by Elsei Yeh-Arling, BSN, Clinical Manager
Myth #1: Hospice is a PLACE.
Hospice is a service and it can happen wherever the need is, wherever patient resides.
Myth#2: Hospice is only for people with cancer.
Hospice is for people for end-stage chronic diseases.
Myth #3: Hospice is only for the elderly.
Hospice serve people of all ages.
Myth#4: Hospice is only for people who is actively dying.
Hospice help people with terminal chronic diseases at the late stages and are not necessary actively dying.
Myth#5: Hospice is for people who can accept death.
You need to be DNR to qualify for Hospice. Our Hospice team works with patients and families at different stages gently to provide services.
Myth#6: Hospice care is expensive.
Hospice is the MediCare Benefit for people who are over 65 years old. Other insurances such as MediCal/MediCaid and private/commercial insurance will cover most if not all the cost for hospice. There may not be any out-of-pocket cost for patients or families.
Myth#7: Choosing Hospice means giving up.
Hospice is about choosing life and living. Hospice team help with finding quality and joy of life. Choosing Hospice is not giving up; it is changing the goal and focusing on living in the moment.
Myth #8: Hospice starts Morphine and other Narcotics right away and it hastens death. Hospice team might choose to start Morphine or other narcotics to manage symptoms such as pain and shortness of breath which are often related to end-stage chronic diseases. But Hospice team will not initiate those medications if patients don’t have those symptoms.
Myth#9: Hospice stop all medications.
The Medical Director of Hospice will review the medication list and make suggestions of what medications are necessary to keep the patient comfortable and prevent symptoms . Necessary medications that are beneficial at the time of life may be continued.
Myth #10: Hospice means I am going to die soon.
Studies show exactly the opposite. According to several studies, patients with certain illnesses actually live longer with hospice care than those with the same illness who don’t choose hospice care. The constant care, the pain and symptom management and the companion and guidance from hospice care will make sure people are comfortable and safe for however long they have for the journey.