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Hospice Care: Facts vs Myths

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When it comes to hospice care, there are several misconceptions about hospice care, benefits, services provided and more. Read on to learn the truth about common myths about hospice care.

MYTH: “Hospice is where you go when there is nothing more a doctor can do.”

FACT: Hospice care is designed for patients with life-limiting illness. Hospice is not where you go to die, but rather Gulfside Hospice professionals are trained to assist patients in living their lives fully, completely and without pain until the end of their lives. Hospice is about living life to the fullest and making every day count.


MYTH: “If I choose hospice care, I have to leave my home.”

FACT: Hospice care is provided wherever the patient may reside: in their own home, in a family member’s home, in a nursing home, or in an assisted living facility. Gulfside Hospice also provides round-the-clock hospice care in the Gulfside Centers for Hospice Care throughout Pasco County.


MYTH: “Families are not able to care for people with life-limiting illnesses.”

FACT: Family members are encouraged, supported and trained by Gulfside Hospice professionals to care for their loved ones. Our staff is on call to the patient and their family 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help family and friends care for their loved ones.


MYTH: “Hospice care is only for cancer patients.”

FACT: More than 60% of hospice patients have a diagnosis other than cancer. Dementia, heart disease and lung disease are also among common illnesses that can lead to needing hospice care.


MYTH: “Hospice is just for the elderly.”

FACT: Hospice is for anyone facing a life-limiting illness, regardless of age and stage of life.


MYTH: “To be eligible for hospice, I have to be in the final stages of dying.”

FACT: Patients and families can receive hospice care once a diagnosis of 6 months or less has been given. Research has shown that patients who start receiving hospice care earlier will often live longer than that 6 months because the patient’s quality of life has improved on hospice care. Hospice patients can receive care for an unlimited amount of time, depending on the course of the illness and as long as they are still meeting hospice criteria. There is no fixed amount of time that a patient may continue receiving hospice care.


MYTH: “All hospices are the same.”

FACT: Each hospice is its own organization that provides end of life care to patients. Many hospices offer similar types of care, but most have programs that make them unique from one another. For example, Gulfside offers the We Honor Veterans program, Pet Peace of Mind® program, spiritual care including Reiki and alternative therapies, and other unique services. Accreditations can also help hospice organizations stand out from the others. Not all hospices are the same, and Gulfside strives to be among the best.


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