November 10, 2017

National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

Quiz time:  Do you know the difference between hospice care and palliative care? Here's a hint: One is for people who are nearing the end of life and the other is for anyone dealing with discomfort caused by serious disease symptoms or the side effects of treatment.

That's right, all hospice care is palliative care but not all palliative care is hospice. Many of us (close to most of us) have had a loved one pass away while in the care of hospice. Its focus is  on helping the patient have a dignified and comfortable end of life, as well as caring for the needs of loved ones.  All that "comfort" care? That's the palliative part.

This month is a good time to become familiar with what your health care community offers for both options. Ask your friends and health care providers who they recommend and consider taking a tour if there is a residential hospice facility nearby.

"The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,"  John Kennedy

As for the angels who work in hospice and palliative care:  God bless you, one and all.