November 24, 2017
Recognizing National Hospice & Palliative Care Month
By Patricia Ahern, RN, MBA, FACHE
President & CEO, Care Dimensions
Did you know that every year, nearly 1.4 million Americans living with an advanced illness receive care from hospices?
November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and we at Care Dimensions are reaching out to our community to raise awareness about the compassionate care that hospice provides to patients and families coping with advanced illness. During this month we remind people that hospice programs provide pain management, symptom control, psychosocial support, and spiritual care to patients and their families when a cure is not possible. Palliative care brings this holistic model of care to people earlier in the course of a serious illness.
Those of us who have worked in the hospice and palliative care field have seen firsthand how hospice can improve quality of life. I’d like to share some insights about the benefits of hospice.
- Studies show that patients and families report an improved quality of life under hospice care and some people even live longer with this support.
- You don’t need to be in the last days or weeks of life to benefit from hospice care.
- Anyone can make a referral to hospice and you have a choice when selecting a hospice provider.
- The hospice team supports the patient, their caregivers and their family.
- Hospice care is not just for people with cancer. We care for an increasing number of patients with heart, lung or kidney disease or dementia.
- You can keep your doctor and you can decide to discharge yourself, at any time, should you want to change your plans.
- Hospice helps you regain control of your life by managing your symptoms and reducing hospitalizations.
Since 1978, Care Dimensions has provided comprehensive care to terminally ill patients and their families in over 90 communities in Eastern Massachusetts, wherever they call home. We serve patients in their own homes, in skilled nursing facilities, assisted living communities, in specialized units in area hospitals, in our Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers, and in 2018 we will open our newest inpatient hospice house on the Lincoln/Waltham line.
We couldn’t do this work alone. We are immensely grateful to our donors, friends in the community and volunteers who make it possible for us to enrich the quality of life for those who are affected by advanced illness, death and loss. We are also grateful to the many health care providers we partner with for their commitment to recognizing hospice and palliative care services as part of the continuum of care for their patients.
At Care Dimensions we like to say, “Let our experience improve yours”. You can gain insight into our experience and learn how hospice and palliative care supports patients and families by visiting our website at www.caredimensions.org. Read our blog post or view our patient videos and you will see that hospice is about how to live well in the time you have left. It’s about managing symptoms and reducing hospitalizations, and it’s beneficial to start care sooner than later.
If you have questions about hospice or palliative care services for yourself or a loved one, please feel free to contact Care Dimensions at 1-888-287-1255.
Care Dimensions Hospice House Video Tour
The Care Dimensions Hospice House, located in Lincoln on the Waltham town line, is a gracious and private home-like setting for patients who need hospital-level care for complex pain and symptom management. To learn more, call our Referral Center at 888-287-1255.