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Hospice Myths & Questions Answered

by | Sep 3, 2022

Is Hospice a Place?

Hospice is not a place, but rather an approach to care designed to enhance life and can be provided wherever you call home. This could be a private residence, assisted living community, or nursing center.

Does involving Hospice Care mean we are giving up hope or that a person will die soon?

On the contrary, as an illness progresses most people hope for comfort, good pain and symptom control, and quality of life, all things that Hospice Care provides. And studies show that involving Hospice earlier can help your loved one live better and for some even longer than anticipated.

My loved one worries that Hospice will administer medications to sedate them. Isn’t that what Hospice does?

At Four Seasons, we work with you and your loved one to create a personalized care plan and determine the desired amount of medication to manage symptoms. Hospice Care does provide symptom relief, but many of our families say the emotional and spiritual support, were the biggest help in allowing them to live life more fully during their remaining time together.

Doesn’t being in Hospice Care mean you can’t have other medical care?

Hospice Care focuses on comfort rather than a cure, but it doesn’t prevent you from seeking care for other illnesses or conditions. For example, if your loved one has glaucoma, they could still seek treatment for that with their medical provider. And your Hospice Care Team works closely with your primary care provider or specialists involved in your care.

Isn’t Hospice Care just for cancer patients?

While some Hospice patients do have cancer, the majority have other life-limiting illnesses such as end-stage heart, lung, or kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other forms of dementia. Hospice Care also is not limited to a specific age range.

If we start Hospice Care, can we stop it?

You can choose to stop receiving care from a Hospice program, for any reason, without penalty. You may resume Hospice Care in the future when the time is right for you.

When do I call Hospice?

We recommend that as soon as your healthcare provider determines your loved one may have 6 months or less to live, you call Hospice. We hear often from our families that the only regret they have with their Hospice Care is that they didn’t call sooner.

Don’t strong pain medications like Morphine make death come faster?

Hospice providers are experts in managing symptoms and will only prescribe the medications and doses necessary to alleviate pain or trouble breathing and helps improve quality of life. In fact, research suggests that good management of pain or shortness of breath near the end of life may help a some people live a bit longer.

How do I pay for Hospice Care?

Many commercial insurance companies offer hospice benefits as do Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Administration. The Four Seasons Foundation also offers an Angel Fund that makes sure no one is turned away because of an inability to pay.

Why ask for Four Seasons Hospice?

For over 42 years, Four Seasons has been providing serious illness care to Western North Carolina. As an award-winning, nationally recognized non-profit organization, Four Seasons is known for fast response times, compassionate care, and for making our patients a priority over all else.