National Home Care and Hospice Month in November is when we honor all professionals who work in the broad field of home care and hospice work – this includes physicians, nurses, aides, social workers, physical therapists, and so much more. There are four types of hospice care: routine home care, continuous home care, general inpatient care, and respite care. Each requires a different skillset and comes with its own emotional and physical demands. The professionals who perform these services often receive very little pay, yet are committed to helping patients live and pass away with dignity. This month is for them.
For more than 40 years, Hospice has helped provide comfort and dignity to millions of people, allowing them to spend their final months at home, surrounded by their loved ones. The hospice model involves an interdisciplinary, team-oriented approach to treatment, including expert medical care, quality symptom control, and comprehensive pain management as a foundation of care.
Beyond providing physical treatment, Hospice attends to the patient’s emotional, spiritual, and family needs and provides family services like respite care and bereavement counseling. Palliative delivers expertise to improve quality of life and relief from pain, can be provided at any time during an illness, and hospices are some of the best providers of community-based palliative care. A hospice and palliative care organizations are advocates and educators about advanced care planning that help individuals make decisions about the care they want.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have pledged to put patients first in all of its programs — including hospice — ensuring a coordinated and patient-led approach to care, protecting patient choice and access to individualized services based on a patient’s unique care needs and wishes.
It was proclaimed by the Calvert Board of County Commissioners that the month of November be known as Hospice and Palliative Care Month in Calvert County. It was further proclaimed that all citizens are encouraged to increase their understanding and awareness of care at the end of life, discuss their end of life wishes with their families, and observe this month with appropriate activities and programs.
Margit Miller / Calvert Beacon