The idea of “hospice care” dates back a lot farther than many people realize. The history of hospice dates back to the 11th century, when a religious order of monks set up hospitals along a pilgrimage road leading to Jerusalem. In the modern era, hospice care generally refers to a series of organizations designed to take care of patients who are reaching the end of their lives. However, even though these organizations have been in place for a number of decades, a number of misconceptions remain about what these places do, and this article will attempt to correct a few of those misconceptions.
- Hospice Care Accelerates the End: One misconception about hospice organizations is that their purpose is to somehow accelerate the end of a patient’s life. This is not true at all; hospice organizations are there to provide palliative care for patients who choose to enter their facilities. Their purpose is to make patients as comfortable as possible in whatever time they have left, but in no way does this involve hastening the process along.
- Patients Aren’t Allowed to Leave Hospice Organizations: Another misconception about hospice organizations is that patients aren’t allowed to leave hospice organizations once they’re admitted. While it is true that many hospice patients don’t leave once they’re admitted, it’s not because anything is preventing them from doing so. Rather, it’s because most hospice patients prefer the care they are receiving at that facility. In truth, hospice patients are free to leave anytime they wish. For example, if a patient decides that hospice care isn’t working for them and they’d prefer to go home, they are free to go. There is nothing forcing hospice patients to stay in a facility.
- Hospice Services Leave Patients Alone All Day: And finally, a third misconception about hospice organizations is that patients staying there are left alone the entire day. This is also not true because these facilities are staffed with workers who are on call 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Patients are never left alone, and in fact all of these facilities have services and activities that patients can participate in throughout the day.
In conclusion, there are several misconceptions about hospice organizations. These misconceptions include the idea that hospice care accelerates the end, patients aren’t allowed to leave hospice organizations, and hospice services leave patients alone all day. All of these misconceptions are patently untrue, and hospice care remains helpful to this very day.