Common Myths of Hospice Care

By Ryan Goodwin – Director of Community Outreach

As a faith-based, non-profit hospice ministry, Emmanuel Hospice is committed to community education, outreach, and service. Last year, we provided 52 educational seminars and met a countless number of amazing people in West Michigan. However, during these workshops, we heard many misconceptions regarding hospice care. So in this month’s blog, we wanted to shed some light on the four most common myths about hospice care.

#1 Myth – Hospice is a place.
Hospice care is provided in a patient’s home, wherever home may be. Whether that be a skilled nursing facility, retirement community, or a house of many years. The setting may change, but the hospice team comes to you to deliver expert, holistic care.
#2 Myth – All hospice providers are the same.
There are currently 17 hospice providers in the greater Grand Rapids area. There are many factors to consider when choosing a hospice provider. Are they a for-profit organization with a focus on ‘the bottom line?’ Does the company require a high caseload per staff member stretching their staff too thin? Does an accredited body certify them like CHAP(Community Health Accreditation Partner)? Can they understand your spiritual beliefs, whatever those may be?  Remember, it is YOUR choice who cares for you or your loved one; not a doctor, not a hospital, but you.
#3 Myth – Hospice makes decisions for you.
A quality hospice provider should always focus on your desires during this transition. They should review your medications and consult with you and your family about which ones you consider necessary. They should work with the doctor of your choice, not assign another doctor without speaking with you first. A quality hospice maintains levels of physical comfort, without you or your loved one losing cognitive function. They should understand your wishes, and then build your care plan around YOU.
#4 Myth – Hospice is a last resort
Hospice is a philosophy of care that focuses on comfort vs. cure. Many people do not want to spend their final days driving to and from a hospital. Many people do not want invasive treatments that only revolve around the quantity of life, as opposed to the quality of life. Emmanuel Hospice provides spiritual, mental, and physical guidance to families, in addition to those diagnosed with a life-limiting illness. This care can improve the lives of loved ones throughout an individual’s end-of-life journey.

We are providing this list as a stepping stone for your health care options. Emmanuel Hospice understands what a quality hospice provider should do for someone facing end-of-life decisions. If you or your loved one has a life-limiting illness, we know your journey may be full of uncertainty. Emmanuel Hospice is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you may have. Call 616.719.0919 or complete our contact form today.