More questions and answers

Learn how hospice can help your loved one live as fully as possible.

Is hospice only for people with cancer?

No.  Montgomery Hospice can help patients no matter what illness they have (including dementia, heart disease and others) and no matter what age they are.

How are decisions made about the care of the patient?

Montgomery Hospice respects and honors the wishes of our patients. Their priorities guide us.

 Are patients’ family doctors still involved when a patient chooses hospice?

Yes. Patients can keep their own doctors while receiving hospice care. (Their doctor will consult with the hospice doctor.)

Do Montgomery Hospice patients have to stop all medications?

No. When patients sign up for hospice, they often continue with the same medications that they have been using to control symptoms.

What happens if a hospice patient has an accident and breaks a leg, would that break be treated?

Yes.

When patients decide to use hospice, do they die sooner?

No.  Studies have shown that some patients live longer when they use hospice services.

Does choosing hospice care mean that "there is nothing else that can be done"?

NO.  Hospice is the “something else” that can be done. Hospice care is specialized medical care for patients near the end of their lives. Hospice care helps patients be comfortable. Hospice helps families find some peace. The members of the hospice team have many ways to help.

Does signing up for hospice mean giving up hope?

No.  Although being in hospice means not using treatments to cure disease, hospice provides a team of caring professionals who work to understand and to help patients achieve their other goals and to work towards comfort, peace and reconciliation. Hospice allows people to live fully in the time that they have left.

How does hospice help patients with pain?

Hospice professionals have many ways to alleviate pain. Medications are typically used, starting out with small doses and milder medications. Stronger medications (such as narcotics) can be prescribed, depending on the needs of the individual patient. 

Do hospice patients become addicted to painkillers?

No.  Use of narcotic drugs to control pain is appropriate. Patients using medications for pain relief (with the close support of the hospice team) do not become addicted. 

Do patients using painkillers sleep all the time?

No.  Although pain medication can have the short-term side effect of sleepiness, that usually lessens after a few days, with the appropriate medication and the appropriate dosage.
 

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