Hospice Myth: Hospice is Just For the Last Days of Life

Each month we set the facts straight regarding myths surrounding hospice care.

This month’s myth: Hospice is only for the very last days of life

Many believe that hospice care is only for a person’s last few days of life, but in reality that care can extend to 6 months or, in some instances, longer.

Hospice care is given to those believed to have a life expectancy of 6 months or less as certified by two physicians. The care is focused on effectively managing symptoms and not the underlying disease, and comfort is the priority.

At Carroll Hospice, one of our goals is to educate about the availability of hospice services so that families reach out to us sooner when help is needed. Did you know that Medicare will pay for 6 months of hospice care for qualified individuals?

But that doesn’t mean that patients must die within those months to be eligible. A patient’s prognosis is continually re-evaluated, and care can be provided beyond the 6-month mark if the patient’s clinical diagnosis continues to progress.

Right now, our patients’ average length of stay is two months, and more than one-third of our patients (38 percent) are only in our care for 1 week or less!

All too often families comment that they wished they’d known about us sooner so that they and their loved one could have received our specialized support longer.

If you are wondering if you or your loved one is ready for hospice care, we are here to help. Please call 410-871-8000 or visit CarrollHospice.org for more information.

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