Raising Awareness of the Benefits of Hospice and Palliative Care
Hospice Council of West Virginia Celebrates November’s National Hospice and Palliative Care Month
(Charleston, WV) – Hospice is high-quality care that helps patients and families to live as fully as possible despite a life-limiting illness. Palliative care brings this holistic model of care to people earlier in the course of a serious illness. November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and hospice and palliative care programs across the country are reaching out to help people understand all that hospice and palliative care offer.
In recent months, a number of notable Americans have died. They include Senator John McCain, the queen of soul Aretha Franklin, and former first lady Barbara Bush. In many media reports, they were described as having “given up” on curative care late in their lives. Ms. Franklin opted for hospice care; Mrs. Bush received what was described as “comfort care.”
It is essential that people understand that hospice and palliative care is not giving up, it is not the abandonment of care, it is not reserved for the imminently dying,” said Edo Banach, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “Hospice is a successful model of person-centered care that brings hope, dignity and compassion when they are most needed. This is one reason that the national My Hospice Campaign was launched this year.
Every year, nearly 1.5 million Medicare beneficiaries receive care from hospices in this country, reports NHPCO. That includes more than 10,000 patients in West Virginia. Hospice and palliative care programs provide pain management, symptom control, psychosocial support, and spiritual care to patients and their family caregivers when a cure is not possible. Hospice is Medicare’s first coordinated care model and hospice is a program that works. Surveys repeatedly show that the public has a positive opinion of hospice and that people would prefer to receive their care at home. Hospice makes this is possible.
Throughout the month of November, Hospice Council of WV will be joining organizations across the nation hosting activities that will help the community understand how important hospice and palliative care can be.
More information about hospice, palliative care, and advance care planning is available from the Hospice Council of West Virginia or from NHPCO’s CaringInfo.org.