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National Hospice Care Month Forum
October 2013
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Thursday, October 24, 2013

TIME: 12:15 PM - 1:15 PM

National Hospice Care Month Forum

Pat Haraden, Hospice Service of Western Massachusetts, will talk about hospice care - what it is, what it is not, and
what you should know before you think you do.

Pat Haraden describes the planned event:

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month.  Hospice Services of Western Massachusetts wants to encourage people to learn more about the benefits of hospice and the many resources that are available BEFORE a health crisis.  People deserve to have control over their lives, to get help and assistance if needed, and to be informed about healthcare.  This includes knowing the wide range of hospice services available.   

First, we would like to share what hospices offer generally.  Hospice care is different than traditional healthcare
services.  Hospices provide pain management, symptom control, psychosocial support, and spiritual care to patients and their families when a cure is no longer the option of choice.  Hospice care combines the highest level of
quality medical care with the emotional and spiritual support that is so important for patients and family caregivers coping with serious and life-limiting illness.

Hospice benefits are intended for the final months of a patient's life, yet more than 35% of patients die or are discharged within 7 days of starting hospice care.  This time is too short to gain full benefits of hospice.  According to Janet McClelland, RN, DNP, CHPN, Executive Director of Hospice Services of Western Massachusetts, "Families who have experienced hospice care often say that they wish they had received a referral to hospice sooner.  This is why we encourage people to learn about the services and discuss their wishes with their families before services
are needed." 

Hospice is there so patients can have MORE control over their lives.  Hospice is the patient's advocate.  Patients can choose which particular services they prefer to accept, and they can personalize the services that will benefit them.  Patients also have the choice to stop hospice and then start it again at a later date if that is the wish of the patient.

As the traditional view of hospice changes, hospice care is evolving and offering more options.  Hospice Services of Western Massachusetts would like to share information and answer questions at the Berkshire Community College lunchtime forum on Thursday, October 24, 2013, at 12:15.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Location: K-111

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