Although the word hospice is typically associated with end-of-life care, hospice in los angeles there are many misconceptions about what these services entail. Here are eight incorrect assumptions about hospice care that can help you understand the benefits of this type of assistance.
1. Hospice is only for patients who are dying.
Many people fear that accepting hospice is the same as “giving up.” In fact, hospice care is appropriate for anyone with a chronic illness or injury that limits ability. Hospice providers are trained to help those individuals live their lives to the fullest, in as much comfort as possible, regardless of how much time they may have left.
2. Hospice requires that you leave your home.
In fact, hospice care can be provided in a variety of settings, including at the person’s bedside at home. While some hospice services are hospital or nursing home based, it’s not necessary to be in one of those places to enroll in hospice. In fact, the American Hospice Organization estimates that up to 70 percent of hospice patients receive care at home.
3. Hospice means the end of traditional medical care.
While it’s true that hospice focuses on comfort care, that doesn’t necessarily mean that other treatments will be discontinued. Hospice providers work hand-in-hand with the existing medical team to identify solutions that place the patient and family at the center of care. If you have a doctor you trust, he or she will still be involved in your care if you enter hospice.
4. Hospice is limited to a period of six months.
While Medicare typically approves hospice care in two 90-day increments, that doesn’t mean that you are unable to receive this type of care when that period ends. In fact, if your doctor recommends hospice, the recommendation can be for an indeterminate period of time. Some individuals even discontinue hospice and return later as needed.
5. Hospice patients are sedated with pain medication.
Although hospice patients do receive pain control, it’s not limited to prescription medications. Care providers incorporate a variety of physical, mental, and spiritual methods to keep patients comfortable, including but not limited to yoga and other relaxation methods, art or music therapy, counseling, group support, and occupational or physical therapy.
6. Hospice is only for cancer patients.
While many cancer patients do receive hospice care, it’s also common for those with HIV or AIDS, lung disease, cardiovascular disease, neuromuscular disorders, and Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. In fact, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization estimates that up to 50 percent of hospice patients have a diagnosis other than cancer or AIDS.
7. Hospice is not affordable for most people.
In fact, this type of care is covered by Medicare as well as by many Medicaid and private insurance carriers.