Each November, our agency recognizes National Hospice Awareness Month to remind our communities of the value of hospice care. Hospice is a special kind of care for the terminally ill. It provides medical care that focuses on symptom management and quality of life. Hospice care is offered in places such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and even in the comfort of the patient’s home.
While hospice care at home is not always an option, research by The National Hospice Foundation revealed that 80% of Americans prefer to pass on at home. Of the 2.4 million Americans who pass each year, less than 25% actually pass at home. However, of the 1.3 million patients who receive hospice care, over 75% were able to die at home. Most prefer, if possible, to be in the comfort of their own homes surrounded by their mementos, memories, and family.
Hospice is care that neither prolongs life nor hastens death: the focus of hospice care is to provide quality, compassionate care for those nearing the end of their lives and to support their families during this time.
Hospice care includes a compassionate team of professionals trained to address the patient’s physical, psychosocial, and spiritual needs while supporting family members and other loved ones. Hospice also provides bereavement support for the patient’s family after their loved one has passed away.
Admission into hospice care is a simple process: a doctor must advise that the patient has 6 months or less to live as a cure is no longer an option for the individual. At Pike County Hospice, we advocate for admission into hospice care as soon as one qualifies. This assures that the client will get the most out of the service that we provide. When pain and symptoms are relieved through hospice care, anxiety and stress that accompany a terminal illness are also lessened. In some instances, getting symptoms under control can actually help patients live longer than expected.
Patients have the right to reassess their situation and remove themselves from hospice care. They may decide to seek further treatment for their illness, or in some cases, the hospice team and doctors will discharge patients because their health has improved to the point that survival is expected to be more than 6 months.
Pike County Hospice has served our neighbors and community since 1993, and we are proud to be able to continue this service for years to come. Our team of compassionate, professional individuals takes pride in what they do, and we are honored to be chosen to be with families in one of their most vulnerable times of life.
Finally, we would like to remind you that our bereavement support group is held on the first Monday of each month at 6 pm in our community conference room. It is free and open to the public. We also offer free End-Of-Life planning workshops throughout the year to assist you in getting started in making these important decisions so your family doesn’t have this burden. You can learn more about this seminar by calling us at 573-324-2111 or visiting our website at PikeCountyHospice.com.