MYTH: Choosing hospice means giving up hope.

REALITY: Hospice is a system of care that provides support and relief to those diagnosed with a terminal illness and the loved ones who care for them. The focus is on the individual and the involved family, rather than the disease. Guardian’s team of caring professionals provide for the whole person—spiritually, emotionally and physically. Hospice care provides comfort, while maintaining dignity during a challenging time for both the patient and family.

MYTH: Hospice is only for the last few days or weeks of life.

REALITY: Hospice is appropriate when aggressive medical treatment is no longer effective or desired and the patient’s life expectancy is six months or less. An early referral to hospice enables patients and families to fully benefit from Guardian’s support and services.

MYTH: Hospice care is no different from home health.

REALITY: There are multiple differences between home health and hospice. Hospice is specifically designed to provide support to those diagnosed with a terminal illness.  Under hospice, a patient is not required to be homebound—in fact, we encourage our patients to be as active as possible. Hospice also covers some services, supplies and equipment that home health does not, including medications related to the admitting diagnosis and spiritual support.

MYTH: Hospice is only provided to patients living in private residential homes.

REALITY: Most hospice care is provided in private homes; however, hospice care can also be provided in nursing homes, assisted living communities or hospitals.

MYTH: Hospice care is only for people who have cancer.

REALITY: Although many patients admitted to hospice care have cancer, anyone with a terminal illness who meets the admission criteria can receive hospice care. Other diagnoses include liver/renal disease, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, stroke/CVA, COPD/emphysema, ALS, HIV, Alzheimer’s/dementia and failure to thrive.