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4 Common Myths About Hospice

July 28, 2023

When you hear someone is home on hospice, do you automatically think the end is here? You’re not alone.

“There are several misconceptions surrounding hospice care that prevent individuals from seeking essential support they need,” says Holly Bessoni-Lutz, RN, MSN, Director of Hospice & Palliative Care at Hartford HealthCare at Home.

Bessoni-Lutz debunks four common myths about hospice that might stop you or a loved one from tapping into this invaluable resource.

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1. Hospice care makes death come sooner.

The goal of hospice isn’t to prolong life or hasten death. Instead, it’s about improving the quality of life in your final days, weeks or months.

“Contrary to popular belief, there are no studies indicating that hospice can accelerate the dying process. In fact, research has shown that some patients actually live longer when receiving hospice services,” says Bessoni-Lutz.

Hospice provides comfort, pain management and emotional support – all of which have a positive effect on well-being.

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2. Choosing hospice means giving up all medical treatment.

Just because you’ve chosen hospice, does not mean you’ve given up all medical treatment. It’s a decision to prioritize quality of life and reframe care based your goals and wishes.

“While curative treatments may be discontinued, this does not mean medical attention is given up”, Bessoni-Lutz explains.

Hospice professionals work closely with the patient’s healthcare team to provide symptom management, pain relief, and emotional support.

Often times, hospice care is provided when a patient wants to step away from more aggressive treatments and spend their remaining time at home.

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3. Hospice is only for the last few days.

Hospice care isn’t limited to a few days or even weeks.

In fact, hospice patients and their families can receive support for six months or even longer, depending on the course of the illness.

Services are designed to adapt to your changing needs, providing care that encompasses physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects.

4. Hospice is where you can go when there is nothing more a doctor can do.

Hospice is much more than a last resort option. It’s a philosophy of care that focuses on providing medical, emotional, and spiritual support while prioritizing comfort and quality of life.

Patients can receive hospice services wherever they call “home”. The emphasis is on creating a supportive environment, surrounded by their loved ones. Hospice professionals work hand in hand with the patient and their family to assist in making this time in their lives as peaceful as possible.