November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. A time for raising awareness about the compassionate care that hospice and palliative care provide to patients and families coping with serious and life-limiting illness.
One of the most important things that people should know is that hospice and palliative care helps patients and families focus on living. This thought about “hospice is about living” can be surprising to many people.
Research from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization shows that families report a better quality of life for a loved one who received hospice care.
There is additional research that further surprises people. Studies have shown that hospice and palliative care may prolong the lives of some people who receive care; and research demonstrates that hospice saves Medicare money.
But these are not necessarily the reasons why a family would choose hospice or palliative care services. With the help of hospice, patients and families alike can focus on what’s most important – enjoying life together, living as fully as possible, and making the most of each moment for as long as life lasts. That is why many choose hospice, or have learned this by having the “hospice experience.”
The national awareness month starts today, and aims to share this information with the country. In San Diego, we want to do our part. Locally, you may see banners that say “It’s time to live life each day to the fullest” – that philosophy mirrors the hospice and palliative care movement. Sponsored by San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine, the banners are designed to help raise awareness about hospice care as a vital healthcare resource that is available.
We are also planning on helping raise the awareness online. For every day of this month, we plan on sharing a statistic about hospice care on our twitter handle. We’d also like to start a hashtag for the month, so that all of you who want to help share awareness, can use the hashtag as well. We’d like your insight on what that hashtag should be, so we are asking you to leave your preference in the comments below. Here are our suggestions:
Together, we can use this month to really share the message about the value of hospice, and hopefully reveal the truth behind some of the hospice myths.