If you knew that a much better quality of life could be achieved for someone you care about, you would not think twice about exploring that option. Yet one of the most beneficial kinds of care – hospice care – is one that family members shy away from, because of many different misperceptions. When you understand the differences between hospice myths and facts, it can be easier to find comfort for your loved one and help for yourself.
Hospice is meant to help someone with a life-limiting illness find relief from pain as well as other difficult symptoms, while obtaining comfort and emotional and spiritual support. Hospice care is available around the clock, both for the person needing care in addition to members of the family. And, for those covered by Medicare, hospice care is available for a very low cost or possibly at no charge. Many additional insurance plans cover hospice care too.
Below are some of the top myths in addition to real facts you should know about hospice care:
- Hospice is only needed at the very end of life. Lots of people incorrectly believe that hospice services are for a person’s last couple of days, when in fact, the sooner hospice care is started, the better. The criteria for Medicare-covered hospice services are simply for a physician to certify that the individual could die within 6 months. The hospice team and the doctor will continue to monitor and modify this prognosis ongoing, either discharging the person from hospice if improvement is noted, or recertifying if life extends beyond six months.
- An individual can no longer receive medical treatment while on hospice. Although it’s true that typically aggressive treatments that won’t lead to a cure are discontinued, the purpose of hospice care is always to help an individual with pain and symptom management. Treatments intended to optimize the person’s level of comfort are a fundamental element of hospice care.
- Hospice takes place in a facility or at a hospital. Hospice care is offered anywhere the individual and loved ones wish. In-home hospice care is readily available for individuals who decide to remain at home for a lifetime, or in a facility setting if preferred. Regardless of the living arrangement, hospice care is brought to that individual, bypassing the need to go out to physician’s appointments.
Hospice care is a holistic approach to meeting the needs of the person receiving the care, as well as his or her loved ones. Beginning care as quickly as possible allows maximum time to take advantage of the resources, support, and comfort needed for the most peaceful transition possible.
For answers to any other questions about hospice care, contact us at (213) 383-2273. We can share some further helpful information about the benefits associated with hospice care, and provide you with a free of charge in-home consultation to speak with you regarding the options that are available from JFS Care, a top provider of home care assistance in Beverly Hills. View our full service area to see if we provide care in your community.