Common Misconceptions About Hospice

At Chester Street Residence in Royal Oak, Michigan, we are frequently asked about hospice services and who qualifies. There can be many misconceptions about hospice and the services they provide.  We are trying to address most common questions about hospice and attempting to help with these misconceptions, so you better understand the options for your loved one.

What is Hospice?

Hospice is a specialized service that helps with attending to people with the goal of making them physically and emotionally more comfortable during the final stages of life.  This treatment is designed to fit the individual patient and involves visits from hospice nurses and aids to help attend to the patient’s needs. This is supplementary care and does not provide 24-hour ongoing care for the patient. Hospice is a government program that replaces Medicare, while you are on the service. You can change between the two services at your discretion. If you are on Hospice and wish to obtain medical care that does not qualify under Hospice, you may go off Hospice and back on Medicare, which allows for whatever care is available under Medicare, the same as before going on Hospice care.

Who Qualifies for Hospice?

Hospice is not just limited to your final days; it is a resource that can be utilized by people with a qualifying diagnosis. The family should consult with their physician to determine if the patient has a diagnosis that would qualify. At that time, the physician can write a prescription for Hospice, allowing for these services to begin.

What happens if I need medication to cure a short-term diagnosis?     

This is a common question that often comes up during Hospice discussions with families.  By example, if you suspect your loved one has a Urinary Tract Infection and this is confirmed through lab work, then you can treat this with medication.  The concept is to keep hospice patients comfortable and therefore does allow for families to treat such a short-term diagnosis. The most important factor in all of this type of questions is that you maintain control. If the Hospice service is not going to provide the medical care that you feel is necessary, you have the option to go off Hospice care and immediately back on Medicare, which allows you to obtain all of the care available under Medicare, the same as before you went on Hospice care.

Can I send my loved one to the hospital if they are on Hospice?

The answer is yes.  Depending on the reason for hospitalization, you may have to take them off Hospice. In each case you can discuss the situation with the Hospice provider and determine if they will cover the hospitalization and treatment. If they determine not to cover the hospitalization and treatment, you may go off Hospice and back on Medicare, which should allow for the hospitalization and treatment. Upon completion of such treatment, you can then re-engage Hospice to put them back on service upon discharge.

Hospice and Senior Living Communities

Hospice services are supplemental care to enhance the care and comfort for residents in senior living communities.  They should never be in lieu of the normal daily services these communities provide to its residents.  Hospice can be very helpful by providing weekly visits from Hospice Aides and Nurses to help with the Resident.  The most important ingredient for success is consistent communication between the Community and Hospice.  This will help the Hospice Aides and Nurses be more effective while a Resident is on their service.


If you have questions about hospice and/or the hospice application process, Chester Street Residence, a senior living, assisted living, and memory care community is always available to help with questions and help with these type of decisions. Our team is passionate and dedicated, we strive every day to provide the best care and community environment for your loved one. We can walk you through the Hospice process at Chester Street and provide you the resources you need to get started. Contact us anytime at (248) 439-6800 or by email at to learn more.

Posted in Senior Care.

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