Hospice Helps Patients and Families Focus on Quality of Life

Harbor Hospice Makes More Meaningful Moments Possible

(West Michigan) – November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and hospices across the country are reaching out to raise awareness about the highest quality care for people coping with life-limiting illness.

“Every year, nearly 1.6 million people living with a life-limiting illness receive care from hospice and palliative care providers in this country,” said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “These highly-trained professionals ensure that patients and families find dignity, respect, and love during life’s most difficult journey.”

Hospice is not a place. Hospice and palliative care programs provide pain management, symptom control, psychosocial support, and spiritual care to patients and their families when a cure is not possible. These programs combine the highest level of quality medical care with the emotional and spiritual support that families need most when facing the end of life. Through this specialized quality care, we see many patients and their families experience more meaningful moments together. Hospice helps them focus on living despite their diagnoses.

“Hospice and palliative care is not about taking care of a disease it is about taking care of people. Our nurses, nurse’s aides, physicians, social workers, spiritual care and volunteers support and care for the patient and family during this difficult time.” Kelly St. Martin LMSW, Clinical Outreach Specialist for Harbor Hospice.

As Kathy Huffman, a Harbor Hospice volunteer noted, “I’m very grateful to be part of this organization. Every time I go on a patient visit to give, I always walk away having received!”

“Many of our volunteers have experienced the benefits of hospice care firsthand. I love to hear their stories of how we helped care for their loved ones. Because of that quality of care, they now want to become a Harbor Hospice volunteer to help provide that same kind of care for our patients” Paula Poel, Harbor Hospice Volunteer Coordinator.

More information about Harbor Hospice, palliative care, advance care planning and volunteering is available by calling 231.728.3442 or 800.497.9559.

Stories showing the many ways hospice makes more special moments possible can be found at www.momentsoflife.org. See more Harbor Hospice moments at facebook.com/HarborHospice or www.HarborHospiceMI.org