Most of us at some time in our lives will be faced with the decision of admitting our loved ones, or even ourselves, onto a hospice service. Deciding whether to take this service or not is one of the most important decisions we will ever make, and often comes at a most crucial time in our lives. More often than not, it is in a time of crisis, when our loved ones’ health, or our own, has endured a significant decline, and decisions need to be made quickly. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about hospice. Education is ongoing, and we as hospice workers, can clear up some of these myths so that families can make informed decisions when the time comes.
Fact: When a person chooses hospice they are actually in full control of their care. The hospice team meets with the family and creates a plan of care together, making sure to honor the person’s wishes.
Myth: Once I’m on hospice I will have to stay until I die.
Fact: People who get on hospice service are free to leave at any time. They can decide to pursue more curative treatments at any time and end their hospice service. It is completely up to the patient whether or not to stay on hospice and in some cases people do get better and healthy enough to “graduate” off of hospice services and continue on with their lives.
Myth: Hospice will overmedicate me and I will die sooner.
Fact: In many cases people that come onto hospice service are already being over-medicated through prescriptions given to them by different specialists. Hospice evaluates all medications and can get them off many medications that can actually be interacting abnormally with each other. We’ve had many families come to us and say, “My mom was so out of it until we received your help.” We can effectively treat their pain while restoring some lucidity for them.
Myth: I’m going to have to go to a “hospice facility” to die.
Fact: One of the greatest things about hospice is we bring our care to the patient so they are able to stay home. All of the disciplines of hospice make home visits; physicians, nurses, CNA’s, social workers, and chaplains. We deliver their medication, medical equipment, and anything else they may need, right to their home. This enables the person to spend the rest of their lives where they want to be, in the comfort of their own home with their family members and pets.
Myth: I may be unable to afford hospice.
Fact: Hospice care costs are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance plans. Pillars hospice and Hospice of Payson will help anyone regardless of their financial situation.
As three nurses and now hospice founders, we are happy to provide such a wonderful service to our communities. We feel the most satisfaction not from the benefits that hospice provides, but from the knowledge, love, and experience that our patients and families give to us.