Common Myths About Hospice Care

In 2018, around 1.55 million Medicare beneficiaries received hospice care, a number that will continue to rise. Despite the fact that millions of people receive hospice, this is still a commonly misunderstood term. When people hear the word hospice, they may feel worried about their loved ones. It’s important to know that hospice provides quality end-of-life care that focuses on embracing each day, sharing time with loved ones, and easing through a natural stage of life as comfortably as possible. Let’s address some common myths associated with hospice and present the facts you need to know for you and your loved one.

Common Myths About Hospice


Myth #1: Choosing Hospice Means Giving Up

This is far from true. Hospice is all about helping patients ease through a natural stage of life and make each day matter. It’s about living life to the fullest with the time they have left. Various research over the years indicates that patients who receive hospice tend to live longer and have a better quality of life compared to patients that choose aggressive medical treatments or no treatment at all. Indeed, hospice is a choice to live as comfortably as possible and enjoy each day with friends and family.

Myth #2: Hospice is Too Expensive

Hospice is fully covered by Medicare and Medicaid, which provides unlimited hospice care for as long as the patient has a life-limiting illness. Most private health insurance companies also cover this type of care with little to no out-of-pocket expenses. This covers visits, medications, and supplies and equipment needed for the patient’s hospice diagnosis. 

Myth #3: Hospice Care is Only Offered At Hospitals

In general, most hospice care is offered wherever a patient calls home. By providing this essential care in the home, patients will feel more comfortable and relaxed compared to being in an unfamiliar setting like a hospital or hospice facility. Of course, hospice care is also offered at skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and hospitals.

Myth #4: Hospice Means You Lose Control

Once a patient qualifies and is admitted to hospice, they can choose to stop this care at any time. This gives the patient control over what they want regarding care and support. Examples of why a patient may stop hospice is because their condition has improved or they want to start receiving curative treatment instead. Patients can also choose to resume hospice care as long as they still have a life-limiting illness.

Myth #5: Hospice is Only For People with A Few Days or Weeks Left to Live

Hospice is for patients that have received a diagnosis from their doctor that they have six months or less left to live. Instead of seeing this as the end, patients and their families should view this as a special time to make each day matter and help the patient receive the best care possible. Hospice helps patients better manage their pain and symptoms related to their illness, as well as address their emotional and spiritual needs. This care can extend the patient’s projected life expectancy, which means more time spent with loved ones. Even when patients improve, they can still receive hospice for as long as they qualify.

Myth #6: Hospice Care Is Only For Cancer Patients 

Hospice care is not just for patients with a cancer diagnosis. Indeed, any patient with an estimated life expectancy of six months or less can qualify for hospice. Some of the most common reasons people receive hospice include:

  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s / Dementia
  • Heart disease
  • Lung disease
  • Stroke 
  • ALS

There are several myths about hospice care. Since hospice care offers so many benefits for patients and their loved ones, it’s crucial to understand the facts from the fiction. Liberty HomeCare and Hospice Services is dedicated to providing compassionate care and support for a transition marked by dignity and meaning. Contact us today to learn more about our hospice care designed to help patients embrace each day, share time with loved ones, and experience life to the fullest without pain.