St. Johnsbury, VT – Hospice and palliative care enable patients and families to focus on living as fully as possible despite a life-limiting illness. Palliative care is designed to bring this holistic model of care to people earlier in the course of a serious illness and hospice cares for people in their last six months of life. November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and hospice and palliative care programs across the country are reaching out to help people understand the importance and benefits of hospice and palliative care.
Enrolling in hospice or palliative care does not mean that a person is giving up. Patients on palliative care can still receive aggressive treatments, including chemotherapy for cancer or dialysis for kidney failure. When their illness progresses, palliative care helps with the transition to hospice. Even on hospice, the approach is to maximize quality of life. In fact, many people on hospice outlive their six month prognosis, partially due to the intense comfort care they receive from the hospice team.
Every year, nearly 1.5 million Medicare beneficiaries receive care from hospices in the United States. In the Northeast Kingdom, Caledonia Home Health Care & Hospice provides hospice care, and provides palliative care along with Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital. Each year both programs focus on and provide symptom control, psycho social support, and spiritual care to hundreds of patients and their family caregivers when a cure is not possible.
“Our network of health care professionals and loving volunteers have helped people spend their final months at home, surrounded by family and friends, with comfort and dignity,” said Allison Wright-Roberts, Hospice Care Coordinator at Caledonia Home Health Care & Hospice. “We are fortunate to have Dr. Mary Ready and Dr. Joyce Dobbertin, whose passion for caring for those with life limiting illnesses, ensures a seamless approach to hospice and palliative care across our community.”
More information about hospice, palliative care, and advance care planning is available from CHHC by visiting www.nchcvt.org.