Putting an End to Myths about Hospice
Myth #1: Choosing hospice means that “I’m giving up.”
*FACT: When a cure is no longer possible, hospice provides the type of care most people say they want at the end of life–comfort and quality of life. The most common statement made by families who chose hospice for their loved one is, “We wish we had known about hospice sooner.”
Myth #2: People are better cared for at hospitals, and should be allowed to die in a hospital.
*FACT: There is no “should” in hospice. The majority of people want to be in their own home with the people they love. With Appalachian Hospice Care’s support, this is possible in almost every case. For those who make a different choice, we support them in their decision.
Myth #3: Signing on with Appalachian Hospice Care means patients have given up on a miracle cure.
*FACT: Patients can sign off on hospice care at any time for a course of new curative treatment and then return later if they choose. You are a cherished patient of Appalachian Hospice Care, not a prisoner.
Myth #4: Hospice means giving up hope.
*FACT: Hospice is about approaching life with hope and spending time and energy on life’s most important issues and the people we love. Hospice helps people achieve the best possible quality of life during their final months, days, and moments.
Myth #5: Hospice is about helping people die.
*FACT: Hospice does nothing to shorten life. We want people to achieve the best possible quality of life for as much time as they have left. When death is inevitable, we will work hard to ensure comfort and dignity and provide emotional and practical support to both the patient and the family.
Myth #6: You cannot access hospice care until you are home bound.
*FACT: Many Appalachian Hospice Care patients travel out of town to visit family, sightsee, or go for weekend outings. Hospice encourages patients to be as active as possible and enjoy life to the fullest, hospice staff and volunteers assist them in any way we can.
Myth #7: Appalachian Hospice Care staff come into the home and take over from the family and friends.
*FACT: Hospice staff are guests in the homes we visit. Hospice is about empowering the people we take care of, and their family, and encouraging them to make their own decisions. Our patients and their families decide what their goals are and participate in their own Plan of Care.
Myth #8: You must have a ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ (DNR) order to be cared for by Appalachian Hospice Care.
*FACT: Some hospice patients choose a DNR; some choose CPR. Hospice supports each individual’s right to choose what they want and provides the education and emotion and spiritual support necessary to make informed decisions.
Myth #9: Hospice serves are limited to cancer patients only.
*FACT: The Hospice Benefit has always covered all sorts of terminal illnesses, but for many years the majority of people hospice served were indeed cancer patients. As a result of this strong connection with cancer patients many people including physicians, nurses, and other medical practitioners wrongly believed that was hospice was for cancer patients only. Heart disease is our number one diagnosis.
*FACT: Non-Cancerous diagnosis may be: Adult Failure to Thrive, ALS, Alzheimer's & Related Disorders, Heart Disease, HIV, Liver, Pulmonary, Renal, and Stroke and Coma.
*FACT: Appalachian Hospice Care provides a full range of physical, emotional, and spiritual support for patients and their families who are faced with an incurable condition. For the surviving family members, this support continues for an additional year.
Myth #10: If you elect the hospice benefit and become an Appalachian Hospice Care patient, you cannot continue to be seen by your regular doctor.
*FACT: The Appalachian Hospice Care team works closely with your primary care doctor to work out the best Plan of Care for you.
Myth#11: My grandmother died in a great deal of pain, but that’s just to be expected as part of the dying process.
*FACT: Hospice Doctors, nurses, and others are specially trained to control each person’s pain, while still keeping the patient awake and alert whenever possible.
Myth #12: My loved one is in a nursing home and I can’t bring her to my home to care for her, so hospice wouldn't be available.
*FACT: Hospice and palliative care is available in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and even hospitals—wherever the patient lives and considers home.
Myth #13: Hospice care just keeps terminally ill patients heavily medicated; all they focus on is the physical process of dying.
*FACT: Hospice pain management is highly specialized and tailored to each individual, to ensure the highest quality of life possible to live each day. We also provide emotional, psychological, spiritual and emotional support