The Stigma of Hospice Care: 3 Myths Debunked

Myths & Facts

When my mom entered hospice care, I thought I knew what to expect. I thought hospice would be a terrible place.  I had images of dark narrow halls with flickering lights and wart faced nurses who had been kicked out of hospitals for being too brutal.  I could not have been more wrong.  I learned so much about hospice care from my experience and my hope is that my understanding can be passed on.  The following list will help to demystify hospice care and address some common concerns.

Myth #1: Hospice is a bad place where people go to die.

First of all, Hospice is not a place.  Hospice is a type of care that people receive when they are in their last days.  The care providers are there to make things as easy as possible and they not only serve the patien tbut the family as well.  Hospice care is all around attention for everyone involved.

Myth # 2: If I accept hospice care (for myself or a family member) that means that I am giving up hope.

Try not to think of it as giving up hope.  Instead, think of it as a shift in thinking.  Hospice care is about comfort and about giving quality care in a person’s end days.  Our hope is that a patient and their family are as comfortable as possible.

Myth # 3: Hospice nurses are mean, and have been broken down by being surrounded by death.

A hospice nurse cannot be assigned to that job on a whim.  They have a special gifting which allows them to be incredibly empathetic in a hard situation.  They also have special training and are often giving extensive debriefing after each situation in order to assure great care for all involved.  This includes the patients, their families and the nurses themselves.

When people hear the word hospice, they immediately go running for the hills.  Hospice means death and death is scary.  Yes, death is sad,but sad does not necessarily have to equal scary.  With the right care,the right people, and the right conversations, death can be a beautiful transition.  It is the stigma behind death that has led to the stigma behind hospice.  Hospice is a very misunderstood form of care.  We hope this blog has helped to further eliminate some of that stigma.  For more information, please contact us.