Hospice Myths – Aria Hospice Comfort Care
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Being on Hospice means that the individual will soon die.

RealityPeople choose hospice when they have a life-limiting illness and no longer desire curative medical intervention or have been told by their medical provider they will no longer benefit from curative medical intervention. Good hospice care does not shorten the individual's life but focuses on comfort, pain and symptom management and quality of life. This may actually result in a longer length of survival due to increased medical visits, personalized care, and comprehensive coordination.

Hospice means giving up hope.

RealityHospice helps individuals and their families focus on reclaiming and maintaining their quality and spirit of life and guides them in finding acceptance, healing, and peace during this journey.

Hospice is a place.

RealityHospice is a model and philosophy of care focused on alleviating the individual's pain and discomfort and attending to the emotional, spiritual and social needs of the individual and family. Hospice care is provided in the comfort of the individual's home or residence, including a nursing home, assisted living facility, or residential care setting.

A physician decides whether a patient should receive hospice care and which agency should provide that care.

RealityAnyone can ask their physician about the benefits of hospice care. Selecting a hospice provider is a personal decision and caregivers, family members and loved ones have the right to choose who they would like to receive care from.

Hospice is only for cancer patients.

RealityMore than half of the hospice patients nationwide are diagnosed with other medical illnesses or advanced stages of chronic diseases like pulmonary disease, Alzheimer’s disease, renal disease, HIV/AIDS and cardiovascular or neuromuscular diseases.

Patients can only receive hospice care for up to 6 months.

RealityThe Medicare hospice benefit and most private insurance companies pay for hospice care as long as the patient meets the established criteria. Hospice is required to conduct a re-certification evaluation for each patient on a regular basis to determine if the patient continues to meet eligibility criteria. He/she can continue receiving hospice care as long as the attending physician recertifies that the patient is terminally ill.

Hospice provides 24-hour care.

RealityThe hospice benefit does not cover in-home or personal care, however, the medical social worker will assist with obtaining these services through an agency that does provide in-home care, looking at placement options. Often a patient can remain at home with the education, support and training provided by hospice. The hospice team (nurses, medical social workers, home health aides, volunteers, spiritual counselors, and bereavement counselors) does conduct weekly routine and as needed visits and is available 24 hours a day; 7 days a week; 365 days a year.

To be eligible for hospice care a patient must already be bedridden.

RealityHospice care is appropriate at the time of the terminal prognosis, regardless of the individual’s physical condition. Many hospice patients continue to lead productive and rewarding lives.

Once a patient elects hospice he or she can no longer receive care from the primary care physician.

RealityHospice reinforces the patient-primary physician relationship by advocating either office or home visits, according to the physician's preference. Hospices work closely with the primary physician and consider the continuation of the patient-physician relationship to be of the highest priority.

To be on hospice a patient must sign a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order.

RealityA patient can receive hospice care without signing a DNR Directive. Hospice regulations prevent hospice from discriminating against individuals due to advance directive choices.