Comfort, Love, Respect
Comfort, love, respect: basic needs of every human being. According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) about 1.6 million people in this country receive comfort, love and respect from hospice and palliative care providers. In growing numbers, more people with life-limiting illness are recognizing the benefits and hospice are “coming out of the shadows.” Once believed to be a last-resort, brink-of-death effort for those in their final days, maybe hours, hospice and palliative care is rapidly gaining understanding as a life-affirming experience at a most precious time.
In addition to comfort, love, and respect when a cure is not possible, hospice provides expert pain management, symptom control, emotional support, and spiritual care to patients and family caregivers. Services are provided by a team of highly-trained professionals including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, hospice CNAs, medical social workers, administrators, spiritual care providers, and volunteers. Most hospice care in the U.S. is provided in the home, allowing patients to remain in familiar surroundings with their families, friends, pets, and cherished mementos. Care is also provided wherever the home may be (e.g., assisted living facility, friend’s home, etc.). Research by NHPCO reveals that 94% of families whose loved one(s) chose hospice rated the care as very good to excellent.
Palliative care brings the same interdisciplinary team approach earlier in the course of a serious illness. Hospices are the largest providers of palliative care services in the country with many organizations working to offer a seamless continuum of care through the course of a serious illness.
Please join Heart ‘n Home in celebrating National Hospice and Palliative Care Month this November. In 2013, the theme is “Comfort, Love, Respect” and we believe that just about sums it up. Hospice keeps the patient comfortable, teaches the family how to provide care, and offers emotional and spiritual support. Whether you know someone currently receiving hospice care or someone who works or volunteers for hospice take a moment this month to acknowledge their courage and strength. Tell them you appreciate what they’re doing (comfort), put your arm around their shoulder (love) and be patient if they sometimes seem too busy for you (respect). Affirming the life of another will affirm your own … every day, every time.