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Thursday, November 12, 2020

National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. Hospice care is a specific type of palliative care that helps children and families cope with terminal illness. Hospice helps provide a better quality of life at the end of life.

This is the month we honor all those 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.

Palliative care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. Whatever the diagnosis may be, palliative care focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious or chronic illness, with the overarching goal to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.

The interdisciplinary team model at the core of hospice and palliative care provision involves a holistic approach to treatment, including expert medical care and symptom control, as well as attending to the patient’s emotional, spiritual and psycho-social needs, and provides family services like respite care and bereavement counseling.

While many people think of hospice as a place, that’s not really accurate. Rather than a place, hospice is a special, high-quality care that allows patients and their families to focus on living life to the fullest despite dealing with a life-limiting illness. Palliative care is designed to bring this model of care to people suffering from a serious illness when the likelihood of recovery is limited.

The theme for this year’s celebration of hospice and palliative care is “It’s About How You Live.” The dedication of the hospice professionals we recognize this month makes it possible for families to continue to live during this most challenging time.

Locally, the City of Gainesville will recognize National Hospice and Palliative Care Month by presenting a proclamation to a long-time provider of hospice services in our area, Haven, during a city commission meeting Thursday, Nov. 19 at 5:30 p.m.

We encourage our readers to increase their understanding and awareness of care at the end of life and to discuss their end-of-life wishes with their families.

Available local hospice providers include for-profit and not-for-profit organizations as well as academic health centers. There are many ways to learn more about the importance of hospice and palliative care for families in need. Among those resources is the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.



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