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November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

As we celebrate National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, we thank our dedicated hospice team for the care they provide our patients and families during the most challenging time of their lives.

6-month prognosis, focus on comfort vs. curative treatment, performed wherever patient calls home.

No prognosis required, continuing to seek treatment, has symptoms that need to be controlled.

Let’s look at some myths surrounding hospice and hospice care:

MYTH: People die once hospice is involved.
TRUTH: While the goal of hospice is not to prolong life or hasten death, patients receiving four or more days of hospice care had 3.3 months longer median survival than those receiving three days or less.*

*Source: Life Expectancy with Hospice Care,TODD EICHELBERGER, DO, and ANTHONY SHADIACK, DO, Ocala Health, Ocala, Florida Am Fam Physician. 2018 Mar 1;97(5): online.

MYTH: Hospice means giving up.
TRUTH: Choosing hospice means taking control of your care and choosing comfort, dignity, and quality of life. Choosing hospice means recognizing that people have more than just physical needs, recognizing their spiritual and psychosocial needs as well. Hospice takes a holistic approach to making sure the WHOLE person is supported.

MYTH: I don’t get to keep my doctor if I choose hospice.
TRUTH: Hospice works under the direction of your doctor. Hospice assesses the patient and reports findings directly to the doctor. It is a collaboration of care between the doctor, the patient and hospice.

MYTH: Hospice is for the last two weeks of life.
TRUTH: Hospice is for anyone with a life limiting illness with a prognosis of 6 months or less who wants to shift focus from the quantity of time they have left to the QUALITY of the time they have left.

The focus of hospice is to honor and celebrate the lives of our patients and provide support and
symptom management. Every patient has a unique life experience, a story to tell. Patients entering hospice choose to shift focus to the QUALITY of time they have and not the quantity of time they have. Hospice is a time to give patients dignity and the ability to direct their healthcare.