Hospice Helps Patients and Families Focus on Quality of Life

(Submitted) – November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and hospice and palliative care programs across the country are reaching out to raise awareness about hospice and palliative care. Hospice is not a place — it is high-quality care that enables patients and families to focus on living 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.

“Every year, nearly 1.4 million people living with a life-limiting illness receive care from hospices in this country,” said Edo Banach, president, and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “These highly-trained professionals ensure that patients and families find dignity, respect, and love during life’s most difficult journey.”

Hospice and palliative care programs provide pain management, symptom control, psychosocial support, and spiritual care to patients and their families when a cure is not possible. Hospice and palliative care combines the highest level of quality medical care with the emotional and spiritual support that families need most when facing a serious illness.

“One of the most common regrets we hear from hospice patients’ families is that they wish they would have called Hospice sooner,” explained Clarice Otminski, Director of Public Relations at Hospice Buffalo. The Medicare benefit covers 6 months of hospice care in full, yet less than 30% of Medicare beneficiaries receive hospice care for only seven days or less — a period considered too short to take full advantage of the many special services that a hospice team offers.

Throughout the month of November, Hospice Buffalo 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 at HospiceBuffalo.org. If you would like a speaker for your club, organization or faith community, please call Lynn Riker 901-0294.

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