Hospice Myths and Truths

Hospice Myths and Truths

Hospice caring for patients is an act of love. There will be some sadness in the end, but we celebrate and enjoy life daily. Here are some common myths about hospice care.


Why is hospice care surrounded by myths?

Sometimes words are scary. Hospice is a concept that many of us are afraid of too. We imagine all sorts of pain and suffering when thinking about hospice. We often associate hospice care with imminent death, and that idea is terrifying. All of this could not be further from the truth. Hospice caring for patients is an act of love. Yes, there will be some sadness in the end, but we celebrate and enjoy life daily.

Here are some myths about hospice care ingrained in the common imagination.

Myth: Treatment cannot exceed six months


A patient’s life coming to an end is not a bureaucratic procedure where we can set a time limit. According to that, in Hospice care, we must be flexible to adapt to every single patient’s needs.

The hospice services continue until death, the patient no longer meets hospice criteria, or the family decides to get them home, or even after the patient passes, with grieving relief for the family and the loved ones.

Myth: Patients require a DNR to come into hospice care


Any Medicare-certified hospice provider should not force a patient to sign a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order.

However, as hospice care providers, we may ask the patients about their desire to be revived if they stop breathing or if their heart stops. Ultimately, we provide comfort and dignity, not curative efforts. It is a right for every person to make their own choices about their code status.

Myth: Hospice stops all medications when admitted to service


The main focus of hospice care is on relieving the discomfort and painful symptoms of the patients at this stage of their lifetime. However, we review their medications to ensure they receive the best benefit at admission and through the disease or condition process.

We also look at the patient’s swallowing ability because if they lose it, we will search for alternative ways to provide them with the prescribed medications.

Myth: Hospice comes in only during the last few days

Myth: Hospice comes in only during the last few days

Life has no set schedule, so hospice care can start even months before the last couple of days.


In the same spirit described above, getting to know the patient and family early can be precious. Many symptoms show a decline, and a person who may be eligible for hospice presents these indicators only over time:

  • Increased need for sleep

  • Eating less

  • Losing weight

  • Increase in the number of falls

  • More ER and hospital visits

Many family members have told us: “We wish we had done this sooner.”

Myth: Hospice is losing hope and giving up


As medical care providers, in hospice care, we focus only on the patient’s comfort and dignity as their life ends.

At first, when a severe disease appears, the initial thought of many patients is to strike back hard. However, their priorities may shift once they have exhausted every medical resource and treatment but fail or find no cure. The concept of hope goes in another direction.

They might not have given up hope, but they can be done with the constant fighting. Instead, they look for comfort, quality of life, and peace. At Ascend Hospice Care, we can provide pain management supported by a team of professional doctors and nurses.

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