Many people have heard about hospice care, but many people are also unsure about what it really is. Because of this, there are many hospice care myths that are important to debunk. By learning more about what hospice care actually is, those who are interested can make a more informed decision as to whether or not it is right for them.
In general terms, hospice care is a way to improve a terminally ill patient’s quality of life. Hospice care teams seek to do this through treatments, therapies and other services to offer symptom relief for physical and mental health concerns. The services provided are tailored to meet each patient’s needs and preferences, and there are many different professionals that can make up a hospice care team.
Hospice is a Place
Many who are not as familiar with hospice care have the misconception that it is a place. Hospice is not a physical place that patients check into once they receive a terminal illness diagnosis. Rather, hospice care refers to a set of services meant to improve the quality of life of the patient and their family.
Hospice care can take place wherever the patient lives, which may be a private residence, nursing home or an assisted living facility. Some who offer hospice care may also offer assisted living, in addition to at-home hospice care services.
This is an important myth to debunk as many people avoid receiving the hospice care they need because they fear it will significantly alter their way of life. Keep in mind that the primary purpose of hospice care is to improve the quality of life. This includes offering hospice care services in the place the patient feels the most comfortable, and where they are able to receive the medical and personal care and attention they need.
Hospice Care Hastens Death
Hospice care does not involve curative treatments. Instead, the goal in hospice care is to make the patient feel more comfortable and have a higher quality of life in the time that they have left. Some people have a misconception that hospice care may speed up death as patients lose hope. However, this could not be further from the truth.
There is no proof that hospice care can hasten death. Rather, hospice care has been shown to help the patient experience less discomfort, enjoy more meaningful social interactions and help them come to terms with the realities of death. This peace of mind and reduced stress sometimes leads to patients living longer than expected with hospice care.
All Hospice Programs Are The Same
Every patient has unique needs and preferences. Hospice care providers realize this, and they can customize the care plan to provide the most convenient and effective service possible. This is good news for some who fear hospice care programs are all the same and not right for them.
Hospice care is available to patients with a range of terminal illnesses. Some common terminal illnesses that hospice care can accommodate include Alzheimer’s disease, COPD, AIDS, multiple sclerosis and cancer.
Additionally, hospice care does more than managing physical and mental health concerns. In addition to the healthcare professionals, there are also chaplains available to address any spiritual concerns. There is a misconception that spiritual counselors only provide Christian-based counseling. However, spiritual counseling is available for people of all faiths as well as those who are agnostic or atheist.
Hospice Means Giving Up
A big part of hospice care is helping the patient come to terms with the reality of death. This has led some to misunderstand the purpose of hospice care. Hospice care is not about giving up. Although it is not designed to help find a cure for the patient’s condition, it is designed to help patients fight and continue to enjoy living.
Hospice care seeks ways to make the patient feel more comfortable, which may include medication, therapies and many other services that can help the patient. Hospice care teams can also work with the patient’s primary care physician to provide the most holistic treatment possible. They will also work with other family members who work as caregivers and others who assist with making the patient and their family feel more comfortable.
Let Harbor Light Hospice Help
You can find out more information about hospice care by reaching out to our knowledgeable and professional team at Harbor Light Hospice today. We are glad to answer any remaining questions you have and help you determine if hospice care is right for you or a loved one. It is our mission to help each one of our hospice care patients enjoy their last days with minimal discomfort and surrounded by a hospice staff that truly cares. Contact Harbor Light Hospice for any questions or to inquire about our services.