The history of hospice dates back to the 11th century, when a religious order of monks set up hospitals along a pilgrimage road leading to Jerusalem. These days, hospice care more generally refers to treatment received when a person is knowingly reaching the end of their life and they or their family wishes them to be kept as comfortable as possible in their last days. Unfortunately, while hospice organizations do a lot of good for many patients across the United States, there are a lot of misconceptions attached to the practice. This article will take a look at a few of the misconceptions attached to hospice organizations.
- Hospice Care Accelerates the End: One of the most common misconceptions attached to hospice services is that they somehow work to accelerate the end of a patient’s life. This is simply and categorically not true. Hospice organizations do nothing that affects the length of a patient’s life. Their primary purpose is simply to make them comfortable and provide palliative care as needed to make that possible.
- Hospice Patients Can’t Leave Once Admitted: Another common misconception attached to hospice services is that hospice patients are not allowed to leave once admitted to the facility. While it is true that many hospice patients do not leave for whatever remains of their time in this world, this is not because they are not allowed to. Hospice patients always have the option to end hospice care at any time and return home. Whether it’s because they feel hospice care isn’t doing enough or they just want to be home, if patients want to leave hospice care, they are free to do so.
- Hospice Patients Languish With Nothing to Do: And finally, a third common misconception attached to hospice services is that hospice patients languish all day in the facility with nothing to do. This also isn’t true: not only are hospice staff members on call 24 hours a day and seven days a week, but hospice care provides plenty of activities for patients to take part in if they are able to do so. By no means are hospice patients left alone with no one around.
In conclusion, there are several common misconceptions attached to the idea of hospice care. These misconceptions include the idea that hospice care accelerates the end, hospice patients not being allowed to leave once admitted, and hospice patients languishing all day with nothing to do. All of these misconceptions are patently untrue; hospice care has done a lot of good for many years and will continue to do so for many years to come.