Hospice Care: Separating the Myths From the Facts for 2021

Hospice Doctor Measuring Blood Pressure To Senior Woman

In 2017, 1.5 million people were in hospice care for at least one day. This figure increased by 4.5% concerning the previous year and is expected to keep rising in 2018.

Hospice care is becoming more and more desirable in the world of healthcare. The record shows this to be true, but it is important to remember that this is just one piece of evidence.

Hospice has grown in relevance and popularity in the past decade, so people have begun to see it as an inevitability in their lives.

There is a lot of misconceptions surrounding hospice, so let’s clear them up. One myth is that it is a type of care for people who are dying.

In fact, it’s a type of care for all people with a terminal illness, including those diagnosed with cancer, AIDS, ALS, and other life-threatening diseases. Another myth is that hospice care is only for the elderly or disabled.

Myth #1: Hospice Care Only Helps Cancer Or AIDS Patients.

Hospice care is not limited to people who are dying of cancer or AIDS. Patients can also use it for those with diseases like end-stage heart, lung, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, and other dementia.

However, patients should first consult a physician or hospice social worker to determine if they qualify for hospice care.

Myth #2: Hospice Care Is A Place Where People Go To Die

Hospice is a significant event for those who are terminally ill. It’s not just for hospital patients either. Many hospice clients receive it at home, assisted living communities, hospitals, or other long-term care facilities.

However, this situation is not constant for all patients. While some family members prefer to stay home, others utilize hospice services in an institutionalized setting.

Myth #3: Receiving Hospice Care Means That The Patient Is Going To Die Shortly

Hospice care does not help to lengthen one’s life, but it improves the patient’s life quality. Many patients in hospice care recover well enough to return to their normal lives; others do not. It is false to say that hospice care means someone will die soon.

Myth #4: Hospice Care Will Not Allow Me To Keep My Physician

No, this is not true at all. Your physician can be involved in your care.

Hospice physicians are typically the medical directors, and since they have legal responsibilities with the hospice, they are bound to be involved by default.

Myth #5: Patients Cannot Quit Hospice Care Program

No, patients can quit the hospice program that they are enrolled in. However, this is if their condition improves enough for them to go back to their everyday lives.

If for whatever reason, their health deteriorates again, they can rejoin and receive the necessary care.

Myth #6: A Patient Must Have DNR To Receive Hospice Care

Hospice services are typically available to patients who are in the final stages of dying.

However, there is no fixed cutoff point for hospice care. Hospice patients and family members can receive care for an unlimited amount of time, depending on the course of the illness.

Nurse helping senior man to take his daily medicine at hospice

Myth #7: Enjoying A Reliable Care At The End Of Life Is Very Expensive

As a Medicare beneficiary, there is no cost for hospice care. Most insurance plans and managed care plans cover hospice care for those of you who are ineligible for this.

If your family members cannot care for you with a terminal illness, the best option is hospice.

When a family member is in the final stages of their life, hospice professionals can help with everything from caring for them to provide emotional support.

Those professionals are there to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They provide care for both the patient and the family they live with.

Myth #8: Hospice Care Is Just For The Elderly

Hospice care is indeed for anyone facing a terminal illness, regardless of age. But have you met the criteria to be eligible?

To qualify, you must have a prognosis of six months or less and exhibit certain symptoms, such as bedbound or a life expectancy of a year or less.

Myth 9: Hospice Care Ends After The Patient’s Death

Grief support is available after death. Bereavement services and grief support are available to the patient’s family and one year following the death.

Families are often faced with emotional issues after the death of a loved one. There are many ways to help them, among them hospice care.

Hospice care has the potential to reduce the stress of the patient and their loved ones. Many feel that hospice care has healing effects on emotions.

Myth #10: Hospice care is Only For People Who Can Accept Death

This may not be the case. The hospice patient must be aware that the care they are receiving could potentially lead to recovery.

Sadly, not everyone is lucky enough to know what to do when they find out they have a terminal illness. Hospices are gentle helpers in this time of strife. Hospices offer advice at one’s own pace and welcome families needing guidance to contact them.

It’s always recommended to contact your physician and hospice social worker when in the hospital to get advice. The hospice’s staff is readily available to discuss all options and to facilitate open family decisions.


Are you considering hospice care as the next step for yourself or a loved one? It is important to learn about what it means to be on hospice and dispel any myths. Remember, facts do not lie.

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