Celebrating Hospice and Palliative Care

Throughout the month of November, Home Health and Hospice of Dickinson County will be joining organizations across the nation in hosting community activities which recognize National Hospice and Palliative Care Month (NHPCM). This year’s NHPCM theme is “meeting you where you are.”

 For more than 40 years, hospice has helped provide interdisciplinary, supportive care to millions of people, allowing them to spend their final months wherever they call home and surrounded by their loved ones. Hospice teams craft plans of care that ensure pain management, therapies, and treatments that all center on the patients’ and their loved ones’ goals and wishes. Hospice care also provides emotional support and advice to help family members become confident caregivers and adjust to the future with grief support for up to a year.

 “At the heart of hospice is meeting patients and their loved ones where they are during difficult times when support is needed most,” said Ben Marcantonio, COO and Interim CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). “National Hospice and Palliative Care month recognizes the crucial role hospice and palliative care providers play in caring for their communities year-round.”

 Each year, over one million Medicare beneficiaries receive care from hospices across the United States. Hospice care is patient and family-centered care that optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and treating suffering. Hospice care also involves addressing physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual needs and facilitates patient autonomy through access to information and choice.

“Someone asked why I spend time volunteering for Hospice of Dickinson County. My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1989. I wanted to find help for my mom when she began to struggle with all of the new responsibilities of caring for him. Beth Schmidt (who was the Hospice Volunteer Coordinator at the time) explained how hospice could help and how to get a referral from the doctor. I was so impressed with everyone involved in his care that I decided I wanted to be part of that and give back to others in that situation,” said Teresa Ottensmeier, Hospice of Dickinson County Volunteer of 32 years.

 More information about hospice, and advance care planning, is available from Home Health and Hospice of Dickinson County at mhsks.org/home_health_hospice