Hospice care is for more than the dying

November is National Hospice Month and even though it’s been around a long time many people do not understand what Hospice is and what it is not. Three hospice workers were on KVNU’s Crosstalk show last week representing the local coalition.Anna Trappett of Community Nursing Services said the approach to hospice is to help the patients live as long as they can and as comfortably as they can. End-of-life care is provided by health professionals and volunteers who give medical, psychiatric and spiritual support.Sue Ann Jellum of IHC Hospice says it costs much less than a hospital setting and most people want to die at home. Steve Evans of Accents Home Care said hospice workers also support the caregivers.”We have to work together with the spouse, the children, the friends of the patient, to ensure that together we can all provide the care that is beneficial to everyone,” Evans explains. “Part of the services that hospice extends go beyond the actual death of the patient. “Hospice is able to, and should, follow up for approximately a year to make sure the loved ones left behind are able to have their emotional needs met.”The hospice workers said hopefully Medicare funding provided to hospice will not be cut through proposed new health care reform legislation.

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