Hospice Care – The Misconception and the Reality


Hospice vs Palliative Care - 5 Stages, 5 Principles Of

According to the Hospice Foundation of America, Hospice is the medical care provided to someone with a terminal condition to improve the quality of life by as much as possible and as long as possible. It involves a multidisciplinary team of professionals working to offer physical, psychological, social, and spiritual support to the ill and their family members.

With the advancements in medicine and relatively better quality of healthcare in the United States, more people are likely to need end-of-life care at some point. According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), almost 1.5 million Americans had hospice care for at least a day in 2017. There is a steady increase in this figure yearly. However, too many of them got to care for less than seven days, which is too short to benefit the ill person or their family members. These figures show that more people are asking about “hospice care near me.” However, few understand it or its usefulness. 

There are too many misconceptions about hospice care among the population. Unfortunately, they severely limit the willingness of people to get professional help, especially for terminally ill persons.

Misconception Vs Reality

Hospice care is expensive – Medical expenses are one of the biggest things that families consider before making decisions on the type of care. However, financial aid programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, private donors, and private insurance significantly offset the cost of hospice care. At the end of the day, caregivers spend very little out of pocket.

Hospice is a place – As seen in the definition above, hospice is not a place. Rather, it is the care given to terminally ill persons. When given a choice, 75% of Americans would rather die at home, in familiar surroundings. Hence, whether it is at home or a center for the elderly, it does not matter as long as the goal is the same – improving quality of life.

Entering hospice care is giving up – It is hard to accept mortality. This is one of the biggest reasons that people avoid hospice like a plague. However, it is not a death sentence. It is an effort to make life worth living for as long as there is a life to live. It offers emotional, spiritual, and physical help to the ill and their family members. The patient can choose to opt-out of hospice care at any point, regardless of their condition. However, data shows that people live longer with hospice care than without.

You need a doctor’s referral to enter hospice care – Anyone can choose to enter hospice care at any point with or without a doctor’s referral. However, a doctor would need to ascertain that the ill person meets some criterion before they qualify for medical insurance coverage.

Hospice care is for only cancer patients – Any patient can benefit from the life-improving interventions available in hospice care. It is not exclusive or limited to patients with cancer. Other common conditions include dementia, heart disease stroke, chronic kidney disease, lung disease, etc.

Hospice care is the same as palliative care – Take note – all hospice care is palliative care, but not all palliative care is hospice care. Palliative care means reducing pain, relieve symptoms, and limiting suffering. It is introduced earlier in the course of treatment, usually simultaneous with curative treatment. Palliative care only becomes hospice care when hopes for a cure or treatment are realistically remote.


Hospice care is understandably an uncomfortable conversation for most. However, when armed with the right information, one can make informed decisions to make life better for an ill family member or colleague. By the time most people get around to search for “hospice care near me,” it is usually too late to make any real impact. To find such facilities around you, check out Senioridy to help you get educated today!

Louis Jones

Greg Jones: Greg's blog posts are known for their clear and concise coverage of economic and financial news. With a background as a financial journalist, he offers readers valuable insights into the complexities of the global economy.