Six myth-busting facts about hospice care

Categories: Community Engagement.

Recent research by Sue Ryder revealed stereotypes and misconceptions about hospices are barriers to people being able to make informed choices about the end of life care setting that is best for them.

In a bid to raise awareness, Sue Ryder has published its top six myth-busting facts about hospices and produced a series of photos that capture ‘a day in the life’ at a hospice.

The charity’s research revealed:

  • 63% of people believed that dying in a hospice meant ‘dying alone and not surrounded by loved ones’
  • 61% of people believed that being in a hospice meant dying ‘without any privacy or dignity’
  • 90% of people believed that religious, cultural or spiritual needs would not be met in a hospice
  • 81% of people believed that they wouldn’t have access to professionals for last minute concerns.

The research also highlighted that many people felt hospices balanced medical and personal concerns but lacked the advantages of either.  For example, they are seen as not as medical and professional as a hospital, or as comforting and safe as at home. 

However, when researchers asked the public to score locations based on attributes they valued most hospices outscored hospitals, and came a close second to dying at home – the public’s preferred choice.

These misconceptions have become stereotypes and myths over time and for many people have become their truth of what hospices are really like and to support this, the organisation has put together six myth-busting facts about hospice care. (See box within this article.)

Sue Ryder are calling on the health and social care sector, particularly hospices around the country, to do more to improve the understanding of their role in care and wider society. 

“To help people make an informed choice on care that is right for them at the end of their life, we need to improve public understanding on their range of options including what hospices can offer,” says Heidi Travis, CEO at Sue Ryder.

To find out more about demystifying hospice care and to see a full gallery of images capturing a day in the life’ of a hospice, visit the website

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