There continue to be many myths about the compassionate care provided by hospice. We enrich life in surprising ways. What you may not know about Meadowlark Hospice care:
Myth: Hospice is where you go when there is nothing more a doctor can do.
Reality: Hospice is a service, which is comprehensive in all aspects of caring for someone who is living with a life-limiting illness. It’s important to emphasize the quality of life rather than the length of life, so that their final days may be spent with dignity and a degree of independence.
Myth: Quality care at the end of life is very expensive.
Reality: Medicare has a Hospice benefit, which does not cost the patient anything. Medicaid is also accepted. Most private insurances have some type of hospice benefit. Meadowlark Hospice does not deny hospice care to anyone with the inability to pay.
Myth: If I choose hospice care, I have to leave my home.
Reality: Hospice care is provided wherever the patient may be: in their home or home-like setting, including nursing facilities and assisted living.
Myth: Families are not able to care for people with life-limiting illnesses.
Reality: Family members are encouraged, supported and trained by hospice professionals to care for their loved ones.
Myth: Hospice care is only for cancer or AIDS patients.
Reality: The top five diagnoses seen in hospice care for 2013 were: Cancer 36.5%, Heart Disease 13.4%, Dementia 15.2% and Lung Disease 9.9%.
Myth: Hospice is just for the elderly.
Reality: Hospice is for anyone facing a life-limiting illness, regardless of age.
Myth: After the patient’s death, hospice care ends.
Reality: Hospice care includes care of the patient and their family. Bereavement services and grief support are available to the caregivers or family members for 12-18 months following the patient’s death.
Myth: Hospice care ends after six months even if I am still living.
Reality: As long as you continue to meet criteria for having a terminal prognosis, you will still qualify for hospice care. You may be on longer than six months and there are times in which a patient improves and is no longer considered terminally ill and is dismissed from hospice care. Hospice care is then available again at anytime that the patient becomes terminally ill.
Myth: Hospice means giving up hope.
Reality: Hospice means accepting a treatment option to help you live each moment you have with dignity and respect.
Myth: Hospice is only for those people that are actively dying and only expected to live a week.
Reality: Hospice care can begin when a patient has a 6 month prognosis. Beginning hospice care early maximizes the hospice benefit available to you and your family. Hospice is a support system for families facing terminal illness and remains a support system for the family after the loved one has passed.