The Misconceptions vs. Realities of Hospice Care

Hospice CareIn the past 40 years, the perception towards death in Indiana and the rest of the globe has changed. In fact, the hospice program now has its own section in the health care system. Before the emergence of hospice care services, people usually died alone in healthcare institutions such as hospitals.

While hospice care is now becoming a common option for patients, it has also remained largely misunderstood. Since the topic of death can be uncomfortable for some, people are hesitant to resort to hospice care until a loved one badly needs it. Read on to find out about common hospice care misconceptions and the real facts behind them.

Myth No. 1: Hospice Care Obliges Patients to Discontinue Taking their Medication 

Most people think that hospice workers urge patients to stop taking their medications to speed up the dying process. Even though hospice care does concentrate on providing relief instead of helping patients recover, the patient still gets the final say on whether they should discontinue taking their medication.

The choice of continuing to take medications depends on what stage patients are in their disease. They can decide if it would be better for them to stop their medication, especially if doing so only causes discomfort. For instance, a patient with cancer who decides to get hospice care might choose to discontinue taking chemotherapy drugs and try more comfortable alternatives instead.

Myth No. 2: Hospice Care Relies on Sedation to Ease Pain among Patients

Patients with a terminal disease often have to deal with the different methods and pains of dying, making it harder for them to cope with their condition. As a result, these patients seek out hospice workers in the belief that they will lessen their pain by purposely sedating them. This is not what happens, however.

In hospice care, patients who experience chronic pain usually start with low doses of sedatives. Doctors only increase the dosage of patients when the pain becomes intolerable. Spiritual counseling is also an alternative for those experiencing severe psychological and emotional pain.

While several misconceptions exist, resorting to hospice care doesn’t mean giving up on the life of a loved one. With a proper understanding of the treatment, it can ensure that a patient’s passing will be as painless and comfortable as possible.