November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, established to bring awareness to the truth behind hospice care and all that is has to offer. The theme for National Hospice and Palliative Care Month 2018 is My Hospice. A Program that Works. A Benefit that Matters. This theme was conceived with the hope of communicating how health care can – and should – work at its best. Hospice care is people-focused, real care that concentrates on patients living life to the fullest. This month, we’re bringing awareness to what hospice is by bringing truth to some common myths regarding hospice and palliative care.
Myth: Hospice care is only for elderly people with cancer.
Truth: Hospice is available to anyone facing a life-limiting illness regardless of age or disease. Typically, hospice is referred when a patient has chosen to focus on quality of life vs. continuing to undergo aggressive treatments for a disease no longer likely to be cured. Hospice is offered to patients with any end stage cancer, pulmonary, cardiac, or renal disease, end stage neurological disorders, HIV, and more.
Myth: Choosing to receive hospice care means you are giving up on life.
Truth: Hospice does not mean surrendering life or giving up hope. It simply means prioritizing the patient’s wishes and comfort during the last months of their life. It focuses on maximizing quality of life and enabling the patient to live as fully as possible.
Myth: Hospice is a place.
Truth: Hospice is provided wherever the patient feels the most comfortable. This is usually at home, but can also be wherever the patient resides—a nursing facility, an assisted living home, or retirement community.
Myth: You have to give up your own doctor when going into Hospice care.
Truth: Both our Hospice and Supportive care programs allow patients to continue seeing their regular doctor while providing an extra layer of support through nurses, volunteers, and social workers.
Myth: Hospice is only beneficial to the patient.
Truth: While hospice provides nurses and doctors that focus on keeping the patient pain and symptom free, hospice also reduces stress and anxiety for in-home caregivers. Families are more confident with our logistical help, emotional support and instruction on how to give medications properly. Knowing what to expect as an illness progresses and having advice available 24/7 often prevents episodes of panic and unnecessary hospital readmissions. Our teams help families for a year after a loved one passes by providing bereavement and grief counseling.
Myth: Hospice is paid for out-of-pocket.
Truth: All of Palladium’s services are paid for by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurances.
Myth: Hospice care and supportive care are the same thing.
Truth: While hospice allows patients to return to the highest quality of life during a serious illness, our supportive services bring an extra layer of care and support and are provided along with curative treatment. We focus on relief of the symptoms and stresses, helping the patient focus on comfort and quality of life.
For National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, Palladium hopes to bring light to all the advantages that hospice and supportive care have to offer by correcting some common myths. Ultimately, hospice care is a unique program that provides physical, emotional, and spiritual care, and helps patients get back to who and what they love.