By Susan Hunt, Executive Director
This time of year is filled with traditions – family dinners, parties, gift giving and a whole host of other celebrations that have evolved around the holidays. For those of us who work and volunteer in Hospice, November holds another special significance. November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, a time when hospice professionals and volunteers work to raise awareness of the importance of quality end-of-life care. Hospice is the organization that puts a “face” on quality end-of-life care…. the faces of nurses, doctors, social workers, spiritual caregivers, homecare aides and volunteers who provide services and support during one of life’s most challenging times.
No one likes to think about death and dying, and especially during this time of year, but it’s something everyone must face eventually. Hospice is an incredible resource in our community that provides comfort, dignity, and respect to all those coping with a serious or life-limiting illness. The best time to learn about hospice or palliative care, and to make plans for the kind of care you or a loved one would want, is before you are faced with a medical crisis. One of the most frequent comments we hear from the families we serve is, “Why did we wait so long before calling hospice?”
The team at Community Hospice provides expert medical care to keep patients comfortable and able to enjoy time with their loved ones. The hospice team answers questions, offers advice on what to expect, and helps families with the duties of being a caregiver. Our professional staff also provides emotional and spiritual support for the entire family. Palliative care services bring a similar type of support earlier in the course of an illness.
It is essential for people to understand that hospice and palliative care is not about giving up, it is not the abandonment of care, it is not reserved for the imminently dying. Hospice is a successful model of person-centered care that brings hope, dignity and compassion when needed the most.
According to recent reports from the National Hospice and Palliative Organization, more than 1.5 million Americans receive care from hospice each year. Community Hospice and Palliative Care serves over 1,500 patients and their families a year. Community Hospice serves Boyd, Greenup, Carter, Elliott, Lawrence, Martin and Johnson counties in Kentucky, and Lawrence and Scioto counties in Ohio.
If you or a loved one is facing a serious or life-limiting illness, the time to find out more about hospice and palliative care is right now. For more information about our services or volunteer opportunities please call Community Hospice at 606-329-1890 or 1-800-926-6184.