November is National Hospice/Palliative Care Month. A time for raising awareness about the compassionate care that hospice and palliative care provide to patients and families coping with serious and life-limiting illness. One of the most important things that people need to learn is that hospice [and palliative care depending on focus you want to give the piece] helps patients and families focus on living.
This surprises some people.
Many Americans mistakenly think that hospice is a place you go when there’s nothing left to be done to treat an illness. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
For well over 30 years, hospice care has improved the quality of life for people facing an illness that cannot be cured – and their family caregivers.
Palliative care provides comfort and support at any stage of a serious illness, from diagnosis on.
The hospice/palliative care team, made up of skilled professionals and trained volunteers, provides expert medical care to keep patients comfortable and able to best enjoy time with loved ones. The hospice team answers questions, offers advice on what to expect, and helps families with the duties of being a caregiver. The team also provides emotional and spiritual support for the entire family.
Research from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization has found that families report a better quality of life for a loved one who received hospice care.
There is additional research that further surprises people. Studies have shown that hospice and palliative care may prolong the lives of some people who receive care; and research demonstrates that hospice saves Medicare money. But those are not the reasons for a family to choose hospice or palliative care services. With the help of hospice, patients and families alike can focus on what’s most important – enjoying life together and living as fully as possible. That’s why you choose hospice.
This important message lasts beyond the month of November and is important all year round.
If you or a loved one are facing a serious or life-limiting illness, the time to find out more about hospice and palliative care is right now. There is more that can be done.
For more information, visit www.caringinfo.org or call the HelpLine at 800-658-8898.
This information is provided by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.