November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, created to raise awareness of the benefits of hospice care. The theme for National Hospice and Palliative Care Month 2018 is My Hospice. A Program that Works. A Benefit that Matters. This theme was developed with the intention to communicate that hospice care is patient-focused, real care that works. Join us as we start the conversation about what hospice is and debunk some myths surrounding hospice, as we strive to enable all patients to live to the fullest during the final stage of life. Here are some common myths associated with hospice and the truth behind them.

Myth: Hospice means you are giving up or surrendering.
Truth: Hospice care does not mean surrendering life, it just means focusing on the quality of life for as long as possible. It allows patients to live life to the fullest while keeping them pain and symptom free.

Myth: Hospice is only for elderly people.
Truth: Hospice serves patients of all ages. On average 20% of hospice patients are under 65 years of age.

Myth: Hospice only focuses on the patient.
Truth: While hospice provides nurses and treatment so that the patient is comfortable and pain free, there are also resources for family members as well. Hospice care offers emotional support and counseling to family members and caretakers. Bereavements services are provided for at least a year after the death of the loved one as well.

Myth: Families have to pay for hospice out of pocket.
Truth: Hospice is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most other insurances. However, at Hospice of South Texas, hospice services are provided based on medical need, not availability of funds. Thanks to community support and donations, we are able to care for individuals with no other source of funding.

Myth: Hospice is given in a hospital.
Truth: Hospice care is primarily provided in a home setting. This could be your own home, a family member’s home, an assisted living facility or even a nursing home. Should a patient need short-term symptom management that requires a higher degree of care, Hospice of South Texas offers the Dornburg Center of Compassion. Hospice of South Texas Dornburg Center of Compassion is a free-standing state-of-the-art in-patient facility designed with patient care and family needs in mind. Twelve private rooms offer hospice patients and their families all the comforts of home while providing a round-the-clock, expert medical care

Myth: Hospice is only for people with cancer.
Truth: More than one-half of hospice patients nation-wide have diagnoses other than cancer. Hospice care is available for advanced illnesses including: cancer, COPD, CHF, kidney disease, liver disease, Alzheimer’s, stroke, ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, other neurological conditions and other advanced and life-limiting illnesses.

Hospice of South Texas hopes to de-stigmatize hospice by first correcting the common myths and communicating the truth about all that hospice care has to offer. For questions, information, or support, call our Victoria office at 361.572.4300, our Hallettsville office at 361.798.2077, or fill out a contact form here.