If you Google the search term “misconceptions about hospices,” you’ll get 2,750,000 results. Here are just three of the big misconceptions about hospice care in the U.S.
#1. A hospice is a place. In America, most hospice care occurs in private residences. Most patients prefer to face end-of-life in the comfort of their own homes. Hospice personnel visit the patient in his or her home. Yes, there are some hospices that house patients, but most do not.
#2. Hospice is only for patients with cancer. While many hospice patients do have cancer, hospice care is available for all who have a diagnosis that indicates a life expectancy of six months or less. Hospice patients include those with congestive heart failure, emphysema, dementia and AIDS.
#3. Entering hospice care means that a patient is giving up. Wrong. Hospice care works to make the remaining weeks and months of life comfortable. Hospice care helps manage symptoms such as aches and pains, nausea and problems sleeping. Hospice provides spiritual and social support, which can significantly improve quality of life.
Many studies have shown that patients receiving hospice care, on average, actually live longer (and, presumably more comfortably) than those terminal patients who are not on hospice.
At Hope Hospice of St. Louis, we work everyday to correct misconceptions about hospice. We understand why these misconceptions exist. One main reason is many people do not learn about hospice until it is absolutely necessary. Death is an uncomfortable topic for most of us and, naturally, not something we want to focus on. For those with aging parents, as well as those who are moving into the “golden years” of life, learning about hospice should be a vital concern.
The main problem with these misconceptions is they cause people to avoid or delay taking advantage of all that hospice care has to offer. We at Hope Hospice of St. Louis are always happy to provide information and answer questions about hospice care. We know that we can never completely eliminate all the misconceptions about hospice. We also know that sharing the correct information with one person, one family, one church guild, one civic organization, one medical facility employee group or one entire community can lead patients who need hospice to connect with hospice. Call us or visit us online.
Phone number: 314-984-9800
Web link: Hope Hospice of St. Louis.