Hospice Myths

10 Myths About Hospice


Hospice is about dying

In reality, hospice is about living. Through hospice care, patients can live the last weeks and 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 & 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 including, but not limited to, cancer. Some other common diagnoses for hospice admission include Alzheimer's disease, dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure (CHF), stroke, end-stage renal disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). 

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. Hospice chaplains 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. Better rapport and relationships are established. 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 the time with their loved one is more pleasant and comfortable because the patient's quality of life is enhanced.

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. Our reimbursement team can help explain hospice coverage and guide you through the insurance process. If you have questions about payment or insurance coverage, call us at 217-788-4663 or 800-582-8667, or email us. Our staff are happy to assist you.

Hospice means giving up

By choosing hospice services, patients elect to live life comfortably, free of pain and symptoms. 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 weeks and even months of life.

Hospice hastens death

In hospice care, death is allowed to happen naturally. Hospice focuses on quality of life, managing pain and symptoms, rather than curing the illness. 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, can spend time doing the things they enjoy most, and surround themselves by loved ones.

Only my doctor can refer me to hospice

Hospice referrals can be made by a number of sources, including physicians. Nurses, social workers, case managers, discharge planners, clergy, patients and family members can make a referral to hospice. 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.