Thursday, November 11, 2010

News-Press Guest opinion: Hope Hospice is committed to offering care that improves patients' quality of life

As part of National Hospice Month in November, the entire care team at Hope Hospice is committed to providing community education about hospice care so that you, your family members and loved ones have all the information you need - even before you need us.

Here are 10 things everyone should know about Hope Hospice:

  • Hospice is not a place but is a program of comprehensive care and services that brings the patient and family the medical, emotional and spiritual support they need during life's final journey.

  • We are passionate in our belief that nobody should suffer needlessly. Our palliative care programs are specially designed to ensure comfort and dignity.

  • For the team at Hope, hospice care is about adding quality to each individual's life for as long as possible, whether days, months or even years. In fact, national studies confirm that those facing a life-limiting illness who seek hospice care actually live better and longer.

  • Enhancing an individual's quality of life means they're better able to enjoy the company of family and friends during their time in our care, whether it's sharing a meal, an art therapy session or even a walk in the park. These interactions and experiences help create lasting memories that can help to ease the pain of losing a loved one.

  • Hope Hospice is committed to providing quality hospice care and support to patients and their families in whatever place they may call home - a private residence, nursing home, assisted living facility, or one of our four Hope Hospice houses, which are designed to embrace the entire family in a homelike setting.

  • Eligibility for hospice benefits often begins sooner than you think and is typically available much longer than you might expect. Talk with your doctor about the options for hospice as soon as a life-limiting diagnosis is made.

  • It's important to know that Hope Hospice cares for every individual facing a life-limiting illness, regardless of age, illness or ability to pay. Nobody is denied our care due to lack of insurance.

  • While losing a loved one is a natural process that each one of us will likely experience numerous times in our lives, coping with each loss can be extremely difficult without loving support. Hope Hospice offers grief and bereavement services to family members - including programs specifically for children - as well as to the community.

  • Hospice serves people of all backgrounds, traditions and religions, and allows them to be with their families while receiving care. Emotional and spiritual support are available to help ease the transition and are tailored for each individual's personal needs.

  • Hospice care need not be something that we fear; rather, having an understanding of how hospice can enhance the quality of each day of life can help us embrace hospice to ease the transition for our loved ones.

  • Taking time today to learn more about the benefits of hospice can help each of us care for our loved ones with kindness and compassion through quality hospice care, whenever that time may come.

  • For more information, call us at 482-4673. Visit HopeHospice.org to learn more about the month-long series of community events that are helping us celebrate National Hospice Month.
Samira K. Beckwith is president and CEO of Hope HealthCare Services, a nonprofit, 501(c)(3)-status community-based agency offering programs and services in Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, Glades, Desoto, Highlands, Hardee and Polk counties.