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5 Myths About Hospice Care

Few of us want to think about or plan for the end of life. We want to hope that we or our loved one will get better and everything will be fine. It’s hard to admit that might not happen. So, it’s easy to dismiss hospice care as an option. But hospice care might not be what you think. Here are five common myths about hospice care and the facts about it.

Myth: Hospice is only for the last few days of life.

Fact: Hospice is for any person with a condition that is likely to claim life within six months. Many patients and families find that hospice’s emotional support and pain management make a huge difference. Those who wait to enroll often wish they had started hospice care sooner.

Myth: Hospice is only for people with cancer.

Fact: Hospice care can aid people with any kind of life-limiting illness. This includes dementia, AIDS, heart disease, or COPD, among others. It helps manage symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, and anxiety. It also allows your loved one to stay in familiar surroundings.

Myth: Hospice means you’re giving up.

Fact: Nothing could be further from the truth. Hospice care focuses on relieving symptoms of a disease, not try to cure it. This type of care is called “palliative” care. It helps manage symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, and anxiety. This kind of care often improves quality of life, and may help patients live longer.

Myth: I’ll have to give up my own doctor if I go on hospice.

Fact: Absolutely not. A core part of hospice care is that a person’s final months are still part of life’s journey. Your doctor will continue to be an important part of that journey. Your VNSNY Hospice Care team will coordinate your care with your doctor. The goal is always to improve quality of life and make sure you’re as comfortable as possible.

Myth: Hospice care means I will have to move.

Fact: Hospice is a type of care, not a place. It’s available wherever you live–in a private home or apartment, a nursing home, or assisted living facility.


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