Hospice Myths

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The comfort, dignity and peace of mind hospice can provide is usually overlooked because the fear that a loved one “may die right away if put on hospice” is so strong. With [Hospice of Lansing] a team of physicians, nurses, hospice aides, social work, chaplain, supportive therapies and volunteers are all available to guide and support not only those on our service, but their loved ones too. Sometimes a person’s journey in hospice is shorter than others. That is why quality of life versus quantity is our focus.

Each person’s hospice journey is unique. There are many factors that come into play with how long a person may live while on hospice. Diagnosis, disease progression, effects of previous treatments, support in the home, emotional status etc. are all factors taken into account as the hospice team is getting to know a patient.

Most individuals that speak with us are surprised at how easy the process is to gain information or admit to hospice. We love hearing this and are happy to serve you! Sadly, this is not the case with all hospices. Unpleasant experiences and rushing the process starts a slippery slope of myths about hospice. Let’s break some of those myths today –

MYTH: Hospice means I’m giving up.

FACT: Hospice is not giving up; it simply means you are choosing to focus on your quality of life during this part of your journey. Hospice care fosters emotional well-being, enhances spiritual peace as well as reduces any pain or symptoms you are experiencing. Hospice is here to help.

MYTH: Hospice is only for the last few days of life.

FACT: Hospice is available when a person has a life-limiting illness. This is determined by a primary physician, specialist, hospital physician or a hospice physician. If you choose to stop curative treatment, you are most likely able to begin hospice at that time. There are studies that show people live an average of 29 days longer with hospice care in place versus alternative forms of end-of-life care. Furthermore, they live with more comfort, dignity and peace of mind.

MYTH: Hospice care is not covered by insurance.

FACT: Home Hospice is a benefit covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurances. (Items unrelated to the hospice diagnosis are not covered.) Licensed Hospice Homes usually have a room and board fee. This cost depends on the type of insurance being used. Our staff is available and knowledgeable in the questions that arise regarding your hospice care benefit.

MYTH: There isn’t a choice when it comes to hospice organizations—they are all the same.

FACT: You DO have a choice for hospice care. There are several hospice organizations in the area. Hospice of Lansing is YOUR community hospice and we are non-profit. All of the funds that come in go back out to support our patients. It is important to us to be there for you and answer your questions and at times multiple phone calls for reassurance. This can be a scary time. We understand that and will walk this time with you. Also as the oldest hospice in the area (over 40 years!) we’ve seen all the changes. While our technology and training has changed to match the times, our philosophy remains the same—to provide the best care possible for those in our community. Our nurses, social workers, volunteers and staff are your friends, neighbors and co-workers.

MYTH: Hospice means strangers care for you.

FACT: Hospice of Lansing provides a dedicated team of specialists to suit the needs of each patient. We strive to educate family members to serve as the primary caregivers for their loved one as hospice visits are intermittent throughout the week. Nurses, physicians, social workers, music therapists, massage therapists, pet therapists, chaplain, hospice aides and volunteers are available to support your loved one and their family— we help you each step of the way with their care.

We are here for you, as YOUR community hospice. Call us for information or with questions – we are here to break the myths surrounding hospice.

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