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Myths About Hospice

Fact: Hospice care usually takes place in the comfort of your home, but can be provided in any environment in which you live, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and residential care facilities

Fact: Receiving hospice care does not mean giving up hope or that death is imminent. The earlier an individual receives hospice care, the more opportunity there is to stabilize your medical condition and address other needs. Some patients actually improve and may be discharged from hospice care.

Fact: Hospice care is a Medicare benefit. Most private insurers also cover hospice as well. And, through its charity care policies, Willow Tree Hospice is committed to caring for all patients, regardless of an individual’s ability to pay.

Fact: Patients may keep their own physicians, who will work closely with the Willow Tree Hospice Medical Director to plan and carry out care.

Fact: A large number of hospice patients have congestive heart failure, dementia, chronic lung disease, failure to thrive or other life limiting conditions.

Fact: The Medicare benefit, and most private insurance, pays for hospice care as the patient continues to meet the hospice criteria. Patients may come on and off hospice care, and re-enroll in hospice care, as determined by their illness.

Fact: The hospice team (which includes nurses, social workers, home health aides, chaplains, volunteers and bereavement support) visits patients intermittently, and are available 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week for support. Willow Tree Hospice can help arrange for 24-hour attendant care if necessary.

Fact: All licensed hospice programs must provide certain services, but the range of support services and programs often  differ greatly.

Fact: Hospice focuses on symptom management, comfort, dignity, and emotional support. Quality of life for the patient, and also family members and other caregivers, is the highest priority.

Fact:  Hospice is the "something more" that can be done for the patient and the family when the illness cannot be cured. It is a concept based on comfort-oriented care. Hospice is a compassionate approach to managing the pain and distressing physical symptoms of illness as well as addressing the difficult issues surrounding end-of-life that challenge both the patient and the family. Services focus on respecting individuals’ wishes and maintaining dignity by helping to control pain, manage symptoms and provide emotional and spiritual support.