Palliative and Hospice Care Awareness: CaringInfo.org · Samaritan South Jersey
CaringInfo, a program from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, provides free resources to help people make decisions about end-of-life care and services before a crisis: a toll-free InfoLine, free educational materials, advance directives, advance care planning, caregiving, grief, hospice, pain management and palliative care.
This year’s National Hospice and Palliative Care Month theme is My Hospice. A Program that Works; A Benefit that Matters, which builds on the success of hospice care in the U.S. and highlights the value it brings to individuals, families, and the overall healthcare delivery system. What began as primarily a volunteer-driven, grassroots movement in the 1970’s, is now an integrated part of our nation’s health care delivery system that provides care to more than 1.43 million Medicare beneficiaries and their families every year.
“Enacted as a demonstration in 1978 and a Medicare benefit in 1982 as our nation’s first coordinated care model, hospice programs have served millions of Americans and their families with compassionate care to relieve pain, manage symptoms, support patients and their family caregivers, and provided bereavement services for individuals following the death of a loved one,” said Edo Banach, president and CEO of NHPCO. “The benefit has been invaluable to patients and lifesaving for families.” Branch also notes:
“One of the most common regrets we hear from hospice patients and their families is that they delayed the decision to choose hospice care, underscoring the need to individuals and families to fully understand their options when approaching end of life.”
Nearly 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries receive hospice care for seven days or less, a period considered too short to take full advantage of the many services the hospice interdisciplinary team offers.