If you knew that a better quality of life could be achieved for a loved one, you would not think twice about exploring that option. Yet one of the most beneficial forms of care – hospice care – is one that family members shy away from, due to a number of common hospice care myths.
Hospice is intended to help someone with a life-limiting illness obtain respite from pain and other difficult symptoms, while getting comfort and spiritual/emotional support. Hospice care is available around the clock, both for the person needing care and members of the family. And, for those covered by Medicare, hospice care is available for a low cost or even at no cost. Many additional insurance policies cover hospice care as well.
Here are some of the top myths as well as the real facts you should know about hospice care:
- Hospice is just needed at the very end of life. Many people incorrectly assume that hospice services are for a person’s last few days, when the truth is, the earlier hospice care is started, the better. The requirements for Medicare-covered hospice services are simply for a physician to certify that the person could die within 6 months. The hospice team and the doctor continue to monitor and modify this prognosis ongoing, either discharging the individual from hospice if improvement is noted, or re-certifying if life extends beyond 6 months.
- An individual can no longer receive medical treatment while on hospice. Although it is true that typically aggressive treatments that will not lead to a cure are stopped, the goal of hospice care is always to help a person with symptom and pain management. Treatments designed to optimize the person’s level of comfort are a fundamental element of hospice care.
- Hospice takes place in the hospital or a facility. Hospice care is offered anywhere the individual and loved ones wish. In-home hospice care is readily available for those who choose to remain at home for a lifetime, or in a facility setting if preferred. No matter what living arrangement, hospice care is brought to the person – bypassing the need to go out to doctors’ appointments.
Hospice care is a holistic approach to meeting the needs of the person receiving the care, in addition to his / her family members. Beginning care as quickly as possible allows maximum time to receive the resources, comfort, and support necessary for the most peaceful transition possible.
For answers to any other questions about hospice care or questions about in-home senior adult care in Atlanta or the surrounding areas, connect with Atlanta Home Care Partners online or at 404-228-0103. We can share some additional helpful information about the benefits associated with hospice care, and provide you with a free in-home consultation to speak with you regarding the options that are available to you.