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HRMC Community Hospice celebrates Hospice Month

Posted: Monday, Nov 26th, 2012

November is National Hospice Month, a time when care providers across the country are working to educate people about high quality end-of-life care.

“Comfort. Love. Respect.” is the theme this year for National Hospice/Palliative Care Month, chosen to describe the way in which hospice patients are cared for when receiving end-of-life care. HRMC Community Hospice has several activities planned to promote hospice and assist families who have lost a loved one cope during the holidays.

“Coping with a serious or life-limiting illness is not easy. In fact, it might be the hardest work you’ll ever do. Working with doctors and hospitals, navigating the maze of care needs, figuring out insurance coverage, all in addition to taking care of your family can be overwhelming,” said Jennifer Kalahar, director of HRMC’s Community Hospice. “We want the community to know that there’s help available that brings comfort, love and respect when they’re most needed.”

The first step is understanding what hospice care is and is not:

Hospice isn’t a place. It’s a type of care that focuses on living…living as fully as possible, up until the end of life. Huron area residents can receive hospice care in the home or in Sunquest Healthcare Center or Violet Tschetter Memorial Home.

Hospice brings comfort, love and respect to the patients and families they care for.

Hospice care involves a team-oriented approach to care that includes expert medical care, pain-and-symptom management and emotional and spiritual support. All care is expressly tailored to the patient’s needs and wishes.

Hospice offers the services and support that everyone wants when coping with a serious or life-limiting illness.

The goal of this type of care is to treat the person instead of the disease, and focuses on the family caregivers, not just the individual. The quality of life is emphasized, not its duration.

“Hospice use is growing in the U.S., but still many people don’t know about the benefits of hospice care for the patient and the family,” said Kalahar. “Most people are surprised to learn that cancer accounts for less than 36 percent of hospice diagnoses. The five other leading diagnoses are: heart disease, debility, dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease), lung disease and stroke.”

As part of HRMC’s celebration of Hospice month, a Hospice Tree of Memories, decorated with red lights and ornaments, will be on display at the Centre Plaza and the Huron Mall throughout the holiday season. Visitors can stop by to pick up a mail-in gift card to donate or get more information about the program. Donors and memorials are recognized on a display board near the tree. Materials on care giving and grieving are also available for the public at the Tree of Memory display. Hospice ornaments for $20 also make a great Christmas gift and are available at the Hospice office and on the hospital’s Web site.

These local efforts are part of a broader national campaign launched by National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization encouraging people to learn more about hospice before they are faced with a healthcare crisis. In most cases, hospice care is available at little or no cost to the patient under Medicare, Medicaid, most private insurance plans, HMOs and other managed health organizations. Hospice care is also available at Sunquest Healthcare Center and Violet Tschetter Memorial Home.

For more information about hospice care, call HRMC’s home health and community hospice office at 353-6520, e-mail hospice@huronregional.org or visit www.huronregional.org.

Ornaments can be purchased by stopping by, calling the office or through a secure purchase online.

For the complete article see the 11-25-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 11-25-2012 paper.

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