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This Thanksgiving Consider Having the Talk of a Lifetime

November 18, 2022, Hospice, Palliative

This Thanksgiving Consider Having the Talk of a Lifetime

As we all know, November is the month of Thanksgiving, of gathering with loved ones and sharing good food and conversation.

What many do not know is that November is also National Hospice and Palliative Care month. In fact, relatively few fully understand what hospice and palliative care truly are. This lack of awareness is not surprising. But it is something we should address with a sense of urgency.

To remain unfamiliar with hospice and palliative care is to risk missing out on the expert, compassionate end-of-life care that we are all entitled to — care that enables us to live the final chapter of our lives both in comfort and in full control of decision making.

The whole point of National Hospice and Palliative Care month is to raise awareness. So in that spirit — and in the spirit of Thanksgiving — here is a serving of basic information intended to nourish your thinking and holiday family discussions about this vitally important topic.

What it is … and is not

What is it? Let’s start with what it is not. Hospice is not a place, as many believe. Instead, hospice is a type of care.

What does hospice care include? Hospice care is comprehensive care, meaning that it focuses on every dimension that makes us human – our bodies, minds, emotions, and spirits. Hospice provides expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support. That support extends to a patient’s family as well.

Where is this care provided? Hospice care is provided wherever patients want to be cared for. Hospice teams can deliver the same high-quality care wherever a patient calls home, including in their private residence or senior living facility. They also may seek admission to an in-patient location. The choice is theirs.

Who is eligible for hospice care? All Medicare beneficiaries have earned 180 days of hospice. Unfortunately, most patients receive hospice for 18 days or less.

Who is in charge of care decisions? Patients are always fully in charge of their care and lives. Control resides entirely and exclusively with them.

Learn more

The best time to learn about hospice is before someone in your family is facing a health care crisis. 

Consider making hospice a topic of conversation as you gather with loved ones this holiday season. To learn more about National Hospice and Palliative Care month, please visit https://www.nhpco.org/

To learn more about hospice care at Gilchrist, visit gilchristcares.org/hospice.

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