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Letters to the Editor

November is National Hospice Month

From Nikki Walker, RN, BSN, CHPN team director

Greenfield Care Initiatives Hospice

There are many in the health care field deserving of praise and recognition for the wonderful care they provide. This November is National Hospice Month, and I’d like to take this opportunity to point out the wonderful comfort and support hospice programs and hospice caregivers provide patients and families at the end-of-life.

With a focus on caring, not curing, members of the hospice staff make regular visits to assess the patient and provide additional care or other services. Hospice staff is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Tailored care plans are created for each patient’s needs. The interdisciplinary care team is made up of the patient’s physician, the hospice medical director, nurses, aides, social workers, bereavement counselors, spiritual counselors and trained volunteers.

Hospice care serves many purposes, not the least of which is providing a well-deserved quality of life at the end-of-life. A 2007 study by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization found that patients enrolled in hospice care live, on average, 29 days longer than patients not in hospice care who have similar conditions.

My message is two-fold. I want to first thank the hospice caregivers who care for people at one of the most vulnerable times of their life. Second, I want all to be educated on the benefits of utilizing hospice care. Should you find yourself in need of hospice care, I recommend you seek out area hospice providers and inquire about their services. It’s your choice to select the provider you deem suitable.

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