What is Hospice?
Hospice serves as an alternative to hospitalization for people facing a life‑limiting illness, by emphasizing a duty of care to the comfort and dignity of the patient when curative treatment is no longer a favorable option. Perhaps the illness is no longer responding to the treatment, or the treatment itself may prevent the patient from enjoying their remaining time. Hospice is accepting rather than fighting the unavoidable terminus of life, focusing instead on the patient's personal wishes and quality of life.
Hospice is not a place or institution but a philosophy of care. While inpatient hospices do exist, Shanti Hospice's interdisciplinary team will coordinate a care plan and serve the patient wherever they choose to live.
Common Hospice Myths
- Myth: Hospice only helps the sick person.
- Reality: Hospice provides spiritual and emotional support for loved ones as well as the patient.
- Myth: Hospice means a person no longer has a say in their care.
- Reality: Hospice is individualized care tailored to the patient's needs and desires.
- Myth: Hospice care is expensive.
- Reality: The cost of hospice is covered by Medicare and most insurance companies.
- Myth: Hospice will not allow me to keep my physician.
- Reality: A patient’s primary care physician may continue following their care while on hospice.
- Myth: Hospice patients must sign a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order.
- Reality: Patients are not required to sign a DNR to receive hospice services.
- Myth: Receiving hospice means you can never go to the hospital.
- Reality: Hospice patients can absolutely go to the hospital if desired.
- Myth: A physician must provide a referral for hospice care.
- Reality: Anyone, including a family member, a caregiver, or the patient themselves, can give a referral for hospice care.