OPINION

Hospice of the RRV: November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

Hospice of the Red River Valley
Hospice of the Red River Valley

November is National Hospice Month, a time to recognize and celebrate this specialized type of care—care for the whole person, including medical, emotional, personal and spiritual care, as well as grief support for the person’s loved ones. Hospice of the Red River Valley encourages everyone to learn more about the many benefits of hospice care to help a person live as fully as possible despite a serious or life-limiting illness.

Most families who receive hospice care say they wish they would have called us sooner, and they had no idea how much hospice could do—for both the patient and the entire family. If you or a loved one struggles with a serious illness, here are three things you need to know about hospice care.

1. Hospice provides care for the medical, personal, emotional and spiritual needs of a patient.

Hospice of the Red River Valley offers a whole-person approach to comfort with specially trained professionals. Our patients benefit from the expertise of a team, which includes a hospice physician, nurse practitioner, registered nurse, certified nursing assistant, social worker, chaplain, grief specialist and volunteers. When physical, emotional and spiritual concerns are addressed, patients and their loved ones can spend the precious time that remains concentrating on the things that matter most to them.

2. Choosing hospice care does not mean you’ve given up and there is no hope.

Hospice care is not intended only for those who are imminently dying. With the Medicare hospice benefit, you could benefit from care if you have a prognosis of six months or less. Hospice is a successful model of person-centered care that offers hope, dignity and compassion. Choosing hospice means making the most of every day and maximizing your quality of life. The Hospice team members provide support and pain and symptom management so families can share quality time together. And contrary to the assumption that hospice equals death, data show that an early admission to hospice can improve life expectancy for some.

3. Hospice care helps you age in place.

When people are not feeling their best, they want to be home—out of the hospital—and live as normally as possible. Seven in 10 Americans say they would prefer to die at home according to a Time/CNN poll. Hospice care is part of a solution that honors people’s wishes and ability to stay at home at a time when each moment is precious.

If you have questions about how hospice care could help you or your family, contact Hospice of the Red River Valley at (800) 237-4629 or visit www.hrrv.org.