October 13, 2021


Learn the truth behind common hospice care myths.

If you knew that a much better quality of life could be achieved for someone you care about, you would not think twice about exploring that option. Yet one of the most beneficial types of care – hospice care – is one that family members shy away from, because of a range of hospice care myths.

Hospice is intended to assist someone with a life-limiting illness obtain relief from pain along with other difficult symptoms, while getting comfort and emotional and spiritual support. Hospice care is available 24 hours a day, both for the person needing care as well as members of the family. And, for anyone covered by Medicare, hospice care is available for a really low cost or possibly at no charge. Many additional insurance policies cover hospice care as well.

Here are a few of the top myths as well as the real facts you should know about hospice care:

  • Hospice is only needed during the very end of life. Many people mistakenly believe that hospice services are for an individual’s last day or two, when in fact, the sooner hospice care is started, the better. The requirement for Medicare-covered hospice services is simply for a doctor to attest that the person could die within six months. The hospice team and the doctor will continue to monitor and modify this prognosis ongoing, either discharging the person from hospice if improvement is noted, or recertifying if life extends beyond six months.
  • An individual can no longer receive medical treatment while on hospice. While it is correct that typically aggressive treatments that won’t lead to a cure are stopped, the intention of hospice care is to help an individual with pain and symptom management. Treatments intended to optimize the person’s level of comfort are a fundamental element of hospice care.
  • Hospice takes place in a facility or at a hospital. Hospice care is available anywhere the person and loved ones wish. In-home hospice care is readily available for people who decide to remain at home for a lifetime or perhaps in a facility setting, if preferred. No matter what living arrangement, hospice care is brought to that individual – bypassing the need to go out to physician’s appointments.

Hospice care is a holistic approach to meeting the needs of the individual receiving the care, in addition to his/her loved ones. Starting care as quickly as possible allows maximum time to take advantage of the resources, comfort, and support needed for the most peaceful transition possible.

For answers to any other questions regarding hospice care, or to learn more about Continuum’s home care in St. Louis, MO and the surrounding areas, email or call us at (314) 863-9912 or (636) 861-3336. We can share some additional helpful information concerning the benefits of hospice care and provide you with a complimentary in-home consultation to talk with you regarding the options that are available to you.