Using a hospice service is undoubtedly the best option in the last months of life, not only because it offers a variety of benefits to patients, but because it also offers a variety of benefits for loved ones. Despite its many advantages, hospice is still a mystery to most. Here are the top five myths Masonic Village hospice staff dispel on a regular basis:
- Myth: You must live in a hospice facility to receive hospice care.
Truth: While many hospice services have dedicated locations to help care for those who can no longer manage symptoms at home, most hospice recipients receive care right in the comfort of their own home. Many providers offer services within a certain radius from their main location, usually ranging from 30 to 60 miles. Masonic Village Hospice offers care in patients’ homes, in hospitals and in senior living communities in Lancaster, Dauphin, Lebanon and Eastern York counties.
- Myth: Accepting hospice means giving up.
Truth: End-of-life care is meant to empower those with limited life expectancy to take control of their final moments. It encourages them to connect with their loved ones, seek spiritual guidance, make special memories and take the time they need to prepare for the end of life. Hospice can be a vehicle to help you comfortably live how you want until the end.
- Myth: Care and services end after death.
Truth: The priority of hospice services is to care for the patient and family together. Masonic Village Hospice has bereavement specialists, caregivers, social workers, chaplains and support groups to guide the patient and their family through their journey. Bereavement support is available to families for 13 months after a loved one’s death, including phone calls, in-person counseling sessions, support groups, newsletters and cards.
- Myth: Hospice is only for older people.
Truth: Many of the people who use hospice services are older, but these services are offered to anyone who needs them. Medicare covers the cost of hospice services for those over age 65, and almost all private insurers cover costs for those under 65. Young people with terminal diagnoses can benefit just as much from hospice services as older people.
- Myth: Choosing hospice is an irreversible decision, so I should wait until it’s absolutely needed.
Truth: Many families regret waiting too long to start hospice care and wish their loved one had received the much-needed care for a longer time. Sometimes families feel hospice care isn’t necessary until their loved one is in their last days of life, and they miss out on the extra services, support, education, resources and preparation that hospice provides.