(Sierra Vista, AZ – November 1, 2018) – Hospice is not a place, but is high-quality care that enables patients and families to focus on living as fully as possible despite a life-limiting 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.
Every year, nearly 1.5 million Medicare beneficiaries receive care from hospices in this country, reports NHPCO. Hospice care programs provide pain management, symptom control, psychosocial support, and spiritual care to patients and their family caregivers when a cure is not possible.
Kathy Casey-Patrick has spent 25 years as a Registered Nurse and 15 years working in hospice. “It is such a blessing to work in hospice. The most important part of hospice is the self-determination we offer our patients. They get to decide how they want to spend these final days, we manage symptoms and pain so that they can live each day to the fullest. My job is such a blessing. We are able to help families and caregivers not have regrets. We are there to teach- to help maximize their abilities to care for their loved one as they go on this final journey together,” said Kathy.
Patricia Glow, family member turned hospice volunteer explained, “The most important thing to me was the support, having someone I could talk to, and knowing someone was there 24/7 if I need them. It’s a pretty lonely position to be in. The support they offer carries through to the bereavement program. I attended Annette’s classes to better understand the grieving process; and now, I am a volunteer. I go out to people’s homes. I just think being able to give the caregivers time to have a break is really rewarding—to me. I personally understand the need for that respite.”
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.”
Throughout the month of November, Casa de la Paz Hospice 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 Casa de la Paz Hospice care planning is available at https://www.canyonvistamedicalcenter.com/services/hospice/, or by calling 520-263-3400. For information on End of Life conversations and resources, visit www.theconverstationproject.org.