Home and Hospice Care MonthPublished 9:34pm Tuesday, November 20, 2012
To the Editor:
While we often recognize November as the month for elections and giving thanks, November also is Home and Hospice Care Month, set aside to honor those who attend to the in-home health, hospice and community-based care needs of the states citizens in the comfort and privacy of their homes.
Home care describes a variety of health and health-related services provided in a home setting to sustain, maintain or restore an individuals health and well-being.
Hospice is a special way of caring for individuals who are in the final stage of their lives due to a terminal illness. It focuses on comfort care and symptom management.
North Carolinians receive care from more than 1,500 licensed in-home service providers across the state. Services include skilled nursing, medical social work, intravenous (IV) therapy, physical therapy, speech language pathology, occupational therapy, home medical equipment, respite care, personal care services, bereavement counseling, pain management and quality, end-of-life care.
Care provided in the comfort and security of an individuals home through a licensed agency gives individuals, their family members and friends a sense of control and peace of mind. While it helps keep families together and promotes independence and patient dignity, in-home care also provides a wide range of health care and social services to the patient and teaches families to help care for a family member.
Home health, hospice, and community-based services compassionately care for people from prenatal care to geriatric care, and also provide love, comfort and support at the end of life. The services provide the greatest degree of independence, freedom and dignity possible for patients, allowing them to remain at home, close to their family and friends, in familiar surroundings.
Please join us in thanking those who play a special role in the care of families in eastern North Carolina.
DEAN PATTON, MD
Medical director for Vidant Home Health and Hospice
Clinical professor of family medicine in the East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine