The time is now

Published 12:55 am Tuesday, November 8, 2011

To the Editor:

No one likes to think about death and dying, but we all have to face it eventually. There’s an incredible resource in our community that provides comfort, dignity, and respect to all those coping with a serious or life-limiting illness — University Health Systems Home Health and Hospice.

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, a time to reach out to our community to raise awareness about the compassionate nature of hospice and palliative care.

One of the most important messages to help people understand is that hospice helps patients and families focus on living.

This year’s theme, We Listen, We Care, is a strong reminder of the importance hospice providers place upon the wishes and priorities of those they serve. And this is seen in all they do. Whether they’re reaching out to the community, educating other healthcare professionals, or telling elected officials why quality end-of-life care is important, it’s the way they honor the patients and families they serve that sets them apart.

This year’s theme of listening and caring hits the heart of hospice.

It is medicine’s finest example of patient self-determination and family empowerment. It’s about listening first, then finding ways to make each day be what you and your family want it to be. With the help of hospice, patients and families alike can focus on what’s most important — enjoying life together and living the final seasons to their fullest.

It’s about the quality of life.

Our hospice team provides expert medical care to keep patients comfortable and able to enjoy time with loved ones. The hospice team answers questions, offers advice on what to expect, and helps families with the duties of being a caregiver.

We also provide emotional and spiritual support for the entire family.

In North Carolina, Hospice is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance plans and HMOs. Hospice care is provided in the home, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and long-term care centers. Wherever the patient calls home is where we deliver care. For patients who require inpatient care, we provide services at The Service League of Greenville Inpatient Hospice.

Hospice care is available to people of all ages, with any illness.

Hospice professionals and trained volunteers will ask you what’s important and listen to what you say. They make your wishes a priority.

If you or a loved one is facing a serious or life-limiting illness, the time to find out more about hospice care is right now. Give us a call at 252-847-1229 and let us help.

Administrator, Hospice Services
University Health Systems
Home Health and Hospice