Tidelands Community Hospice Care: Myth or Fact

Tidelands Community Hospice, your community’s non-profit hospice, has been providing care in Georgetown, Horry and Williamsburg Counties for more than 30 years. Yet, on a daily basis, we are asked questions about hospice. We understand it can be difficult to determine myth from fact about something that one has never experienced and cannot see or touch.

Unfortunately, having misconceptions and not knowing the facts about hospice can cloud one’s perspectives and choices. Our staff is available to answer any of your questions and to talk with your church members, civic groups or your lunch or coffee groups. Below are a few of the many misconceptions about hospice.

Myth: Hospice Is a Physical Location

Fact: Hospice is a philosophy of care – not a physical location – that believes everyone deserves quality care at the end of life. Hospice care is the model of high-quality, compassionate, comprehensive care that helps patients facing a life-limiting illness live as fully as possible in comfort and with dignity. The focus of care becomes quality of life rather than its length, caring not curing and treating the whole person, not his/her disease.

Myth: Choosing Hospice Means Going Without Medical Treatment and Having to Leave One’s Home

Fact: Hospice is patient-centered medical care based on each patient’s needs and desires. Care is provided by an interdisciplinary team, consisting of physicians, nurses, home health aides, social workers, chaplains and volunteer and bereavement coordinators.

Fact: Care comes to the patient. Tidelands Community Hospice’s team provides care where the patient lives, be it their own home, home of a relative, a nursing home or an assisted-living facility. On-call, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, our team works together to control symptoms and manage pain. The team assists both the patient and family with their emotional, psychosocial and spiritual needs; educates the family on how to care for the patient; and provides support for the family even after the patient’s death.

Myth: Hospice Care Is About Giving Up Hope

Fact: Those not familiar with hospice have a perception that choosing hospice care equates to giving up hope. Patients find hope in the fact they will be able to remain in their home surrounded by loved ones. They will continue to have choices and make decisions while remaining active for as long as possible, living each of their days to the fullest in comfort and with dignity.

Myth: Choosing a Specific Hospice Is Not an Option

Fact: Individuals have the right to choose their hospice provider no matter where they will be receiving care, be it their home, a loved one’s home, a nursing home or an assisted-living facility. Even if they are referred to a specific hospice, it is their decision – not someone else’s – as to which hospice provider they choose. Individuals also have the right to change hospices if they so desire.

Myth: All Hospices Are the Same

Fact: While Medicare does mandate requirements for every hospice program, not all hospices are alike. Some may provide only the required basic services while others offer additional services. In addition, a hospice provider can be non-profit or for profit. Over the past ten years in Georgetown, Horry and Williamsburg counties, there has been an influx of corporate for-profit hospices. Some are based and governed out of state, while others are based and governed out of other areas within the state.

Fact: Tidelands Community Hospice, community based and governed, received its licensure in March 1985 as one of the first non-profit hospices in South Carolina. It remains one of two non-profit hospices serving in Georgetown and Horry counties and the only non-profit serving in Williamsburg County.

For more information about the agency, visit Tidelands Community Hospice online or call (843) 546-3410.