National Hospice Month Helps Clear up Misconceptions

 Circle of Life Hospice in Chariton, IA, along with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization are teaming up to help promote November as National Hospice Month.  During November, extra emphasis is made to deliver the message regarding what hospice is all about.

As with any kind of health care, there are going to be some misconceptions that aren’t necessarily true.  Circle of Life Hospice Administrator Sherry Mcdonald, RN, says “Every day we encounter families and potential patients who have a false impression of what we do.  It is not their fault, but simply a result of a lack of awareness and proper information readily available in communities throughout our country.  That is why the NHPCO and Circle of Life Hospice take the extra time during National Hospice Month every November to help educate our community and promote the wonderful services Hospice Care offers.”

To help defuse some common misconceptions about Hospice Care, Circle of Life Hospice wanted to share these 9 common misconceptions about Hospice and what is actually the truth about Hospice Care:

* Hospice is where you go when there is nothing more a doctor can do

Hospice is care designed for patients with a life-limiting illness. Hospice is not where you go to die, rather hospice professionals are trained to assist patients in living their lives fully, completely, and without pain until the end of their lives.

*To be eligible for hospice, I have to be in the final stages of dying

Hospice patients and families receive care for an unlimited amount of time, depending upon the course of the illness. There is no fixed limit on the amount of time a patient may continue to receive hospice services. 

*Quality care at the end of life is very expensive

Medicare beneficiaries pay little or nothing for hospice. For those ineligible for Medicare, most insurance plans, HMO’s, and managed care plans cover hospice care.

*If I choose hospice care, I have to leave my home

Hospice care is provided wherever the patient may be: in their own home or a family member’s, a nursing home, or an assisted living facility.  Hospice is also provided in in-patient units, VA Hospitals, and some correctional facilities.  Remember, it is your choice which hospice provider you choose to use no matter where you live!

*Families are not able to care for people with life limiting illnesses

Family members are encouraged, supported, and trained by hospice professionals to care for their loved ones. Hospice staff is on call to the patient and their families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help family and friends care for their loved ones.

*Hospice care is only for cancer or AIDS patients

Fifty percent of hospice patients are diagnosed with conditions other than cancer or AIDS.

 *Hospice is just for the elderly

Hospice is for anyone facing a life-limiting illness, regardless of age.

*There’s no hospice in my area

Less than one percent of Medicare beneficiaries live in an area where hospice is not available.

*After the patient’s death, hospice care ends

Bereavement services and grief support are available to family members for up to one year after the death of a patient.

As you can see, hospice is available to everyone, anywhere and covers a multitude of illnesses.  Families who have used hospice care for a loved one can testify to the great services and loving care hospice provides.  For more information about hospice or to inquire about services or a free consultation, please visit the Circle of Life Hospice website at www.colhospice.org  or call 641-774-3490.