Hospice and palliative care programs across the country are reaching out to raise awareness about hospice and palliative care. Hospice is not a place but 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 is unique in that it offers an interdisciplinary team approach to treatment that includes expert medical care, comprehensive pain management and emotional and spiritual care. Caring for the whole person allows the team to address each patient’s unique needs and challenges. In addition to caring for patients, hospice offers services for families and loved ones that provide emotional support and advice to help family members become confident caregivers and adjust to the future with grief support for up to a year.
The best time to learn about hospice or palliative care – and to make plans for the kind of care you or a loved one would want – is before you are faced with a medical crisis. One of the most frequent comments we hear from patients and families is, “Why did we wait so long before calling hospice?”