Myths and Facts of Hospice Care


Heritage Hospice Inc. can help with many Illnesses.

Many people think hospice is only for patients with terminal cancer. Hospice care is for individuals with any life-limiting illness. More than half of hospice patients nationwide have diagnoses other than cancer. Illnesses include: Neurological (such as Parkinson’s, ALS, and Huntington’s) Liver disease (such as cirrhosis, Kidney Disease), Dementia (such as Alzheimer’s, Lewy Body and Vascular), Respiratory Diseases (such as COPD) and Heart Diseases (such as Congestive Heart Failure). If you know of someone struggling with these illnesses hospice care may benefit them.


Fact: Heritage Hospice, Inc. believes there is always something that can be done to provide comfort and support to the patient and family. That “something” is hospice care, a benefit available through Medicare Part A, Medicaid, and most commercial insurance plans. Care is provided by a team of professionals and trusted volunteers. Services are available to those meeting eligibility criteria set forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regardless of ability to pay.

Fact: Patients can stop hospice care at any time for any reason. Should the need arise for hospice care at a later date; services can begin again if the patient meets eligibility criteria.

Fact: Many hospice patients travel to visit family, sightsee, or go for weekend outings. Hospice encourages patients to be as active as possible and enjoy life to the fullest.

Fact: The focus of hospice is not only on medical care but on emotional, social and spiritual needs of the entire family. We assist family members and caregivers during the illness and offer bereavement support during the 13 months following death. Hospice is undoubtedly the best option in the last months of life as it offers many benefits, not only for the individual but for the loved ones left behind.

Fact: Hospice provides 24-hour support. The hospice team, which includes: nurses, aides, social workers, chaplains, volunteers, and bereavement counselors, visit patients intermittently. A nurse is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for support and care, but team members do not stay with the patient on an hourly basis except when a patient meets certain criteria for “continuous care.”

Fact: Hospice care, including related medications, medical supplies, and durable medical equipment is a Medicare Part A benefit. Medicaid and much other commercial insurance provide a hospice care benefit.

Fact: It only takes one phone call and Heritage Hospice, Inc. will work with the patient’s physician to determine if hospice care is appropriate and to arrange for hospice services to begin.

Fact: The hospice staff are guests in homes they visit. Hospice is about empowering the patient and their family, encouraging them to make their own decisions. Our patients and their families decide what other goals of care are and participate and developing their own plan of care.

Fact: Hospice does not hasten death; rather it provides assistance to manage pain and symptoms. It also improves the quality of life during a disease’s progression. The ultimate benefit is comfort for both the patient and family.

Fact: Anyone can make a hospice referral. We encourage patients and families to call Heritage Hospice Inc. at (859) 236-2425 to schedule a free consultation.


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