November is National Home Care and Hospice Month – a time set aside to recognize and honor home health and hospice caregivers nationally and locally.

Every day, nurses, home care aides, therapists, social workers, and others dedicate themselves to serving the health care needs of patients and families in their homes. We recognize the contributions of CHP Home Care & Hospice employees throughout the year.

This month is also meant to increase awareness about what we do, why we do it, and who we do it for. Here are some common myths and facts about home care and hospice.

HOME HEALTH CARE – Myth vs. Fact

MYTH: Home health is more expensive than a hospital or facility.

FACT: Home health is typically one of the more affordable services patients may receive. It is covered by Medicare and most insurance plans. Home health is usually substantially less expensive than traditional facility-based treatment.

MYTH: You have to bed-bound to qualify for in-home care.

FACT: While some patients may be bed-bound, it is not a requirement to qualify for services. Qualification for home health services is dependent on whether or not a patient is considered homebound, which simply means that it is physically taxing on the patient to leave their home for their normal activities.

MYTH: You have to need nursing care to receive home health.

FACT: Although home health does treat patients with a nursing need, it’s not a requirement. We also provide therapy and home care aides.

MYTH: Care at home is lower quality than what I or my loved one would receive in a hospital or facility.

FACT: Quality is tightly monitored by a number of organizations, most notably by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In fact, CMS actively surveys and records quality to ensure that healthcare delivered across all settings (hospital, facility, office, or home) is transparently rated by both government regulators and consumers. CHP Home Care & Hospice services are also nationally accredited for quality by CHAP. Our local staff can most often provide the same care that a patient would receive in a hospital but in a more comfortable setting.

MYTH: Home health care is a replacement for care by family.

FACT: Home health is delivered in addition to the care provided by your family. Our goal is to help the patient/caregivers understand the disease process, treatment regimen, and symptoms to report.

HOSPICE – Myth vs. Fact

MYTH: Choosing hospice means giving up.

FACT: Hospice places the patient and family at the center of the care-planning process and provides pain management and symptom control. The focus of hospice care is to ensure comfort and quality of life when dealing with a terminal diagnosis.

MYTH: Hospice is a place.

FACT: Hospice is a way of caring for individuals in advanced stages of illness – not a place. The majority of hospice patients are cared for in their own homes or the home of a loved one. Hospice care can be provided wherever an individual lives. CHP provides care for patients in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and at our inpatient hospice center in Defiance.

MYTH: Hospice care is only appropriate in the last few days of life.

FACT: Receiving hospice care does not necessarily mean death is imminent. The earlier an individual receives hospice care, the more opportunity there is to stabilize their medical condition and address other needs. Some patients actually improve and may be discharged from hospice care.

MYTH: Hospice is for people who have no hope.

FACT: Facing a serious illness is never easy. Even when life is measured in months instead of years, there is still a lot of living to do. Hospice can help individuals spend their final months doing the things that are most important to them. Hospice delivers the physical, emotional, and spiritual support patients and families need to welcome each new day.

MYTH: The patient/family has no say in who their home care provider is.

FACT: Although a physician or medical facility may provide a referral for a particular agency, the patient ALWAYS has a choice in who provides their care. Not all home health and hospice agencies are the same. Make sure to ask for, and insist that your home health and hospice provider is CHP Home Care & Hospice.