Some people have the wrong idea about what hospice care means. Many people hear hospice, and they think “brink of death” care or “nothing more can be done.” In reality, hospice helps people with life-limiting illnesses live to their fullest with the best care possible. It’s true that most people receiving hospice care die; however, true hospice care is about living. This is the first in a series of some of the most common misconceptions about hospice.

Myth #1: Hospice is where you go when there is nothing more the doctors can do.

Fact: Hospice is not a place but a type of care provided when patients have a life-limiting illness. Hospice physicians, nurses, social workers, spiritual care counselors (chaplains), and aides are experts at managing pain and other symptoms, addressing psychosocial concerns, and helping patients and families with unfinished business. Hospice offers a volunteer network tailored to each individual’s interests and needs. In my perspective, this is doing quite a bit.

-by Dr. Laura Patel, Medical Director