Busting the myths about hospice care

When it comes to hospice care, there are a few preconceived notions that are inaccurate or untrue. We take a look at five myths about hospice care and give you the lowdown on how it really works.

  1. Myth: Hospice care is exclusive to people who have cancer.

HospiceWits cares for any patient with a life-threatening illness and those who are in the end stages of chronic diseases such as emphysema, Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS and neuromuscular disease. They provide support and care to both families and patients.

  • Myth: Hospice patients can only be accepted if they have a prognosis of 6 months to live.

HospiceWits cares for patients regardless of the timeframe they have been given to end-of-life. In fact, it’s best to approach HospiceWits at the time of diagnosis so that the proper care and support can be arranged for the patient and their family.

  • Myth: Hospice care is costly.

Most medical aids will cover hospice care. For those without medical aid, HospiceWits ensures that a payment rate is calculated based on a means assessment and a payment plan is put into place based on affordability.

  • Myth: Hospice care is only for those who are dying.

HospiceWits understands that care extends beyond the patient and also provides counselling and support to family and loved ones of the patient, with grief and bereavement counselling available for those who are losing or have lost someone. (Grief is an outward expression of loss; this can be anticipatory grief, before the person dies, or like mourning after the person died, where bereavement is the actual state of the loss.)

  • Myth: Hospice patients must have a ‘do-not-resuscitate’ directive.

HospiceWits respects the wishes of its patients who are nearing end-of-life. A ‘do-not-resuscitate’ directive is not required, however, counselling and advice in this regard are available to patients and family members.

HospiceWits serves the community in and around Johannesburg and Soweto. To find out more about the help and support they provide, please visit their website [insert link] or call 011 883 9100.

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