Debunking 5 Myths About Hospice Care

A female hospice worker assists a patient

Life-limiting illnesses for a loved one are devastating when they happen. Even for a family member who has been able to live for a long time, getting the news from a doctor is difficult. Hospice care may be an option that you have heard about or that your loved one’s primary care physician presents. You may have several questions about what hospice care is and how it works. 

Keep reading to learn about some of the most common hospice myths and what actually happens when your loved one receives end-of-life care.

Myth: Hospice Care is Giving Up

Hospice care is anything but giving up. It is for patients whose health providers recognize that they have a life-limiting illness and will most likely die in the next six months. Many patients see improvement in their overall quality of life whenever they enroll in hospice care. 

Myth: Hospice Is a Place

While there are specialized facilities for inpatient hospice care, most hospice services send their team of professionals and volunteers to meet you where you choose to receive care. Patients can receive care at a private residence, assisted living facility or nursing home. Many hospice care services will send the necessary medical equipment to your location of choice.

Myth: Hospice Care is Too Expense for Me

Medicare, Medicaid or private health insurance providers take care of most hospice care expenses. If you or your loved one qualify for hospice, the costs, or at least a majority of them, should be covered. Items included are specialized medical equipment, staff and prescription drugs to manage symptoms of the illness.

Myth: Once I Check My Loved One Into Hospice, They Can’t Leave

While hospice and palliative care are about managing symptoms for terminal illnesses, some patients show signs of recovery and decide to return to treatment. There is no penalty for leaving hospice care, and you can return to hospice once your primary care doctor recertifies you or your loved one.

Myth: Hospice Is for Cancer Patients

While hospice care was initially developed in the 1970s for cancer patients, it has since become much more inclusive. It is open to any individuals with life-limiting illnesses, which their doctor has deemed them to have six months or less to live. While cancer is the most common illness seen in hospice, other illnesses include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
  • Heart disease or heart failure
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • Lung, kidney or liver disease

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, don’t face it alone. Contact Seasons Hospice of Tulsa and Muskogee to see how we can deliver respectful, genuine care from our talented and experienced team to your loved one.

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Seasons Hospice is an independent community health care provider, not a large for-profit organization. We would not be able to offer our hospice services if we did not have the support of passionate community members who understand the importance of cost-free hospice care. To simplify the hospice process for patients and families, we rely on the generosity of our donors.