November Is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

Promote Palliative Care and Hospice Awareness

Personal care assistant comforting senior woman
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In the United States, the month of November is known for Thanksgiving, but that is not that only thing that occurs during the second-to-last month of the year. November is also nationally recognized as Hospice and Palliative Care Month.

National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

Hospice organizations such as the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and the Hospice Foundation of America (HFA), as well as many other hospice and palliative care agencies across the United States host events throughout November to increase the overall awareness of palliative care and hospice.

Hospice care helps patients and families focus on living in the present, rather than consistently focusing on the future. This is the message that hospice organizations aim to share with the community during events that take place during National Hospice/Palliative Care Month.

Seasons of Caring

Each year during November, a different theme is selected for National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. For example, in 2010 the theme was called "Seasons of Caring." This theme was intended to remind people that life’s final seasons can be some of the most fulfilling, especially when patients and families look to hospice and palliative care for help and to improve the quality of life. 

“There’s an inaccurate perception among the American public that hospice means you have given up [on life],” said J. Donald Schumacher, who is the President and CEO of NHPCO. “Those of us who have worked in the field [of hospice and palliative care] have seen firsthand how hospice and palliative care can improve the quality of life.

And there’s a growing body of research showing that hospice and palliative care may prolong the lives of some people who receive such care.”

How You Can Participate in National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

If you are a hospice organization, you can use the opportunity provided by National Hospice and Palliative Care Month to raise awareness of hospice and palliative care within your own community.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Association has media talking points on the website that agencies can use to spread the word about hospice on the radio, in newspapers, and on television. Some agencies host special fund raiser events in the month of November to raise awareness. Many agencies also use the month to celebrate employees, volunteers, and caregivers that provide loving care to patients.

As an individual, you can celebrate the month by making a donation to your local hospice or the Hospice Foundation of America (HFA). The HFA is dedicated to promoting hospice and palliative care and supporting agencies across America.

To make a donation to HFA, visit their website at http://www.hospicefoundation.org.

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