November is National Home Care & Hospice Month. We continue to celebrate and support home care and hospice providers throughout the nation. The National Association of Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) is helping to spread the news and support home care and hospice providers with events, talking points and legislative assistance with lawmakers on behalf of the industry.
Focus on hospice care this week. Hospice is not about dying. Hospice turns illness into an inner journey by committing to the highest quality of care. Hospice can make those final days a blessing by helping patients focus on what matters most: music, nature, art, ideas, and the meaning of comfort. As the end comes near, many hospice patients probe some of life’s most intimate questions: Who am I really? Who do I love and have I loved well? What do I believe in, and has my life really mattered?
Hospice is based on the belief that every life matters, so it takes a number of steps to give unparalleled care. Hospice hires and empowers proven and passionate leaders who can inspire and uplift their staff. Hospice provides state-of-the art medical care that provides comfort and eases pain. Hospice uses new technologies to speed up its response to patients’ needs. Hospice gives bereavement support. It offers public education on end-of-life care. And hospice makes life’s final passage that much gentler by helping people to face the end at home. It’s the best place to say goodbye.
Read on to learn from the NAHC some ways to promote the value of hospice care in your community:
- Distribute hospice informational packets to all appropriate referral sources – specifically physicians
- Provide physicians with copies of the thank-you letters your agency receives from patients and family members who have benefited from hospice.
- Provide a subscription of your newsletter. If you don’t have a newsletter, consider creating a quarterly publication designed specifically for physicians, educating them on the latest developments and advances in hospice.
- Present a “Physician of the Year” award to the physician who has been the most supportive of hospice in the medical community.
- Offer to help establish or teach a hospice curriculum at area medical schools. If this is not an option, volunteer to serve as a guest lecturer.
- Work with teaching hospitals to develop a hospice rotation.
- Encourage the establishment of a hospice residency program to help new physicians learn more about and gain a greater appreciation for the role of hospice providers.
- Members of the clergy can also be vital referral sources. Host a clergy day during which you invite members of the clergy to your offices to learn about hospice and the services you provide.
Furthermore, reach out within your community to educate everyone at large about the value of hospice care. This includes clergy, non-profit organizations and social programs within safety net hospitals. Hospice care is invaluable to the community.