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Blog: Stories and Insight

National Hospice Month Aims to Break Down Barriers to Care

elderly couple embracingOver these 40 years, Samaritan – a regional leader in hospice and palliative care – has heard many patients’ families say, “I wish we had called sooner.” A lack of awareness and understanding of hospice and palliative care is the number one reason that families put off making the call. This November, as we embark on National Hospice & Palliative care month, Samaritan encourages you to educate yourself so that you can be empowered to make healthcare decisions for yourself and for those you care about.

Defining Hospice & Palliative Care

  • Hospice care provides quality, compassionate care for patients living with serious illness who are no longer undergoing curative treatment with a six month or less prognosis.
  • An interdisciplinary team helps patients develops a care plan that centers on the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of patients, and all those who care about them.
  • Palliative care is a medical specialty for patients living with a serious illness. Patients may be cured or may live with the condition for a long time. Palliative care can be received alongside curative treatment to relieve pain and manage symptoms.

Both are designed to improve the quality of life a patients and their loved ones.

devoted senior husband and wifeHospice Myths and Facts:

  • Hospice Myth: Hospice care is expensive.
  • Hospice Fact: Many hospice patients are over age 65 so they’re entitled to Medicare’s hospice benefit, which covers services in the plan of care.
  • Palliative Myth: You can’t receive treatment on palliative care.
  • Palliative Fact: Patients receiving palliative care that is not hospice care can also receive other types of curative treatment for their illness.

How to Help Spread Awareness

1. Leave a review on Google or Facebook about your Samaritan experience.

2. Request a Samaritan speaker to provide a virtual presentation to your faith- or community-based organization. Learn more.

3. Request your copy of Five Wishes, an easy-to-use advanced directive document that you can use to document your healthcare wishes should you become seriously ill and not be able to speak for yourself. Request more than one and share them with friends, family, or neighbors. Learn more.