Illinois Valley Hospice
10 Myths About Hospice
Hospice is about dying.
In reality, hospice is about living. Through hospice care, patients can
live the last days, weeks or months of their lives to the fullest—free
of pain and symptoms. Throughout the hospice journey, patients are encouraged
to stay as active as possible for as long as possible. They are encouraged
to do the things they wish to do and spend time with family and loved
ones. Hospice is about living life to the fullest—not worrying about
pain and treatments—but focusing on things that matter most and
make them happy.
Hospice is a place.
Hospice is not a place, but a concept of care for individuals and their
families. Hospice nurses make regular visits to see patients and their
families wherever they call home—their own home, a nursing home,
or an assisted-living or other long-term care facility. Hospice can take
place anywhere the individual calls home.
Hospice is only for cancer patients.
Hospice applies to many diagnoses, not just cancer. Some other common diagnoses
for hospice admission include Alzheimer's disease, dementia, chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, stroke, end-stage
renal disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Some hospice admissions
are for an unspecified debility, when a patient does not have a specific
illness but would still benefit from hospice services.
Hospice is only for the patient.
Hospice supports the family as much as the patient. The hospice team works
with loved ones to prepare for the passing of a loved one and acts as
a support system for families, both during and after the hospice journey.
Social workers can assist the family in making difficult decisions and
having difficult discussions. Volunteers can sit with patients while families
get away for awhile. The hospice spiritual care coordinator can offer
spiritual and emotional support to families at any time. Hospice offers
bereavement care to families and friends after a loved one has passed.
Hospice is for the last days of life.
One of the most common comments we hear about hospice care is, "I
wish we would have known about hospice sooner." Hospice is available
for the last weeks and even months of a person's life. We are often
asked, "When is the right time for hospice?" The answer is,
the sooner the better. By choosing hospice sooner, patients and their
families can get to know their primary nurse and the hospice team. Our
hospice team can manage pain and symptoms as soon as they begin. Our hospice
team can begin to prepare families and their loved one for the road ahead.
The greatest benefit to families is that time with their loved one is
more pleasant and comfortable because the patient's quality of life
Patients must be bedridden to qualify for hospice.
Patients are encouraged to stay as active as possible, for as long as possible.
They should take part in the activities they enjoy, and do something they
have always wanted to do. Patients are encouraged to focus on their quality
of life and do what makes them happy.
My insurance will not cover hospice services.
Hospice is a benefit covered under Medicare, Illinois Medicaid and most
private insurance plans. For those unable to pay for hospice services,
Illinois Valley Hospice offers a charity care program. If you have questions
about payment or insurance coverage, our billing specialists are available
for consultation at
Hospice means giving up.
By choosing hospice services, patients elect to live life as comfortably
as possible. When a cure is no longer possible, hospice offers expert
symptom management. Hospice is not a choice to give up but a choice to
make the most out of the last days, weeks and months of life.
Hospice hastens death.
In hospice care, death is allowed to happen naturally. Instead of focusing
on curative care, hospice focuses on pain and symptom management. Patients
are encouraged to do the things they enjoy, and live life to the fullest.
In some cases, patients begin to feel better after starting hospice care
because they are free of pain and can spend time doing things they enjoy.
Only my doctor can refer me to hospice.
Hospice referrals come from a number of sources, including physicians,
nurses, social workers, case managers, discharge planners, clergy, patients
and family members. A hospice nurse will then visit the patient and determine
if hospice care is appropriate. While anyone can make a referral, a physician's
order is required for hospice admission.