November is National Home Care and Hospice Month, which recognizes the compassion and dedication of home care and hospice workers. Every day, nurses, aides, therapists, social workers, clergy, and volunteers deliver the care necessary to keep the elderly, ill and disabled of all ages living independently as possible in their own homes.
Home health enables patients to recover from illness, hospitalization or surgery at home. It also helps patients and family caregivers to manage chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease. Home health services include skilled nursing care, physical, occupational, and speech therapy, and a home health aide when needed.
Many studies have shown that patients who receive medical care in their homes have better results and fewer complications than those who receive similar care in a hospital. Those who are able to continue living at home instead of a nursing home also have better chances of living longer since they are more content at home.
Hospice care brings comfort, dignity, and peace and helps people with a life-limiting illness live every moment of life to the fullest. Skilled nurses, social workers, physicians, home health aides, chaplains, and trained volunteers give expert medical care manage symptoms to keep patients comfortable. The hospice team answers questions, offers advice on what to expect, and helps families with the duties of being a caregiver. The team also provides emotional and spiritual support for the entire family.
Palliative care is like hospice, with a focus on quality of life and relief of symptoms and stress for those with advanced or serious illness, but unlike in hospice, a terminal diagnosis is not required and patients may continue receiving curative treatments. The Medicare Home Health Benefit covers palliative care and all the services delivered through home health are available.
“There’s an inaccurate perception that hospice means you’ve given up,” said J. Donald Schumacher, president, and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “There’s a growing body of research showing that hospice and palliative care may prolong the lives of some people who receive care.”
Most families who have experienced a loved one’s hospice journey say it was the best decision, and only wish they’d done it sooner. CHP Home Care & Hospice offers a complete range of services in the home and at our inpatient hospice and adult day centers. Call the CHP office nearest to you for further information, ask questions or to schedule a no-obligation consultation.