Myths About Hospice Care

Myth #1: Choosing hospice care means giving up hope

Truth: Hospice care is the beginning of a new hope… a hope to make the most out of every moment. We call this “Hospice Hope.” We encourage you to take a moment to read the Stories of Hope from our hospice families and learn about the Hospice Hope that our families experience.

Myth #2: Hospice care is only for the last days of life

Truth: Hospice care is most beneficial to those that receive hospice care for longer lengths of time so that they are able to experience a trusting relationship and receive medical, emotional and spiritual care. Medicare requires that individuals who receive hospice care must have a terminal illness and their physician must certify a limited life expectancy of 6 months or less, should the disease run its usual course. However, there is no fixed limit on the amount of time an individual can receive hospice care.

Myth #3: Hospice care is only available at home

Truth: Hospice care continues to grow and is not limited to care in the home. The majority of our patients do receive hospice care in their homes, but many receive hospice care in local assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities, local hospitals and at the Randolph Hospice House, our specialized in-patient facility.

Myth #4: Hospice care is expensive

Truth: Medicare and Medicaid cover most of your hospice needs; many insurance plans also offer hospice benefits. We work with you and your insurance company to provide the care you need. In addition, Hospice of Randolph turns no one away due to inability to pay.

Myth #5: Choosing hospice care means giving up all medical treatment

Truth: The hospice model of care emphasizes comfort care instead of curative care. Hospice care focuses on pain and symptom management and keeping individuals as comfortable as possible.

Myth #6: Hospice care is only for people with cancer

Truth: Hospice care is available for anyone with a terminal illness and a limited life expectancy of 6 months or less as required by Medicare regulations.

Myth #7: Only a physician can make a hospice referral

Truth: Anyone can make a hospice referral. You know yourself and your loved ones better than anyone else. If you would like to learn more about hospice care or find out if hospice care can benefit you or your loved ones, please call us at 336-672-9300. Once we talk with you, our first step will be to communicate with your physician to determine eligibility for hospice care.

Myth #8: I have to give up my physician when receiving hospice care

Truth: Our hospice team works closely with your physician to meet your care needs.

Myth #9: Hospice care is only for the patient

Truth: Hospice care supports the needs of the patient as well as their family members.

Myth #10: Hospice care hastens death

Truth: Research has shown that in many cases, the opposite is true. A 2007 study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management found that those receiving hospice care live an average 29 days longer than those without hospice care.

Some individuals that receive hospice care actually see improved health and are eventually discharged from hospice services because they no longer have a limited life expectancy of 6 months or less as required by Medicare regulations. However, if the individual experiences decline in their health and becomes eligible for hospice care, they can once again receive hospice services.

Myth #11: Hospice care ends when a patient dies

Truth: Following a patient’s death, bereavement and grief support services are available to the family for thirteen months or longer if desired. These services are always free of charge and open to the public.

Myth #12: I must have a family member that received hospice care with Hospice of Randolph to receive free grief support and bereavement services

Truth: Hospice of Randolph is pleased to provide free bereavement and grief support services to the general public. Support options include participating in monthly group sessions, attending a private support session and attending a special holiday themed program during the year. For more information about our grief support services, please visit our news page or call 336-672-9300.