Hospice, Palliative Care and Its Effect on You

November 4, 2010 by Affinity Clinic

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care month. For those who haven't had direct experience with hospice and palliative care, this type of healthcare is considered to be the model for quality, compassionate care for people facing a life-limiting illness or injury. Hospice and palliative care involve a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management and emotional support tailored to the patient's needs. Support is also provided to the patient's loved ones. The main belief at the center of hospice and palliative care is that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity and that our families can receive the support to allow us just that.

Hospice focuses on caring, not curing. In most cases, care is provided in the patient's home or in freestanding hospice centers, hospitals or nursing homes. Hospice services are available to patients of any age, religion, race or illness. Most hospice services are covered under Medicare, Medicaid, most private insurance plans, HMO's and other managed care organizations.

Palliative care is usually incorporated earlier in a patient's illness or disease process and, ideally, would segue into hospice care as the illness progresses.

Although the circumstances surrounding hospice and palliative care are often anxious times, having a hospice team around you and your loved ones can help ease the stress of the situation. The hospice team usually consists of:

  • The patient's personal physician
  • Hospice physician or medical director
  • Nurses
  • Home health aides
  • Social workers
  • Clergy or other counselors
  • Trained volunteers
  • Speech, physical, and occupational therapists if necessary

Hospice of Tift Area is presenting a free seminar on hospice and palliative care on Thursday, November 11 from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. To register, click here.

To read more about Hospice and Palliative Care, visit the National Hospice and Palliative Care website.