Sentara marks National Hospice & Palliative Care Month
Sentara Hospice Services currently serves more than 300 hospice patients across Virginia. This includes greater Hampton Roads and Williamsburg, Halifax, Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. Home-based care ensures comfort and convenience for patients and families, but services can also be provided in a hospital in certain circumstances.
Hospice and Palliative Care are often provided together for patients with advanced illness. The goals are to minimize symptoms and maximize physical comfort and peacefulness with a specialized care team of physicians, nurses, social workers and chaplains. November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, which recognizes these special providers who care for patients when curing illness is not necessarily the goal.
Generally, a patient with a prognosis of six months or less is eligible for hospice. Palliative Care is an active clinical process for patients nearing death, or seriously ill patients who may recover. The goals of physical and spiritual comfort are the same, regardless of the expected outcome.
Pain, nausea and other symptoms are relieved through medication and therapy. Patients also receive support with eating, bathing, dressing, toileting and other activities of daily living, or ADLs. Emotional and spiritual support are available to patients and family caregivers for up to 13 months after the death of a loved one in hospice.
Hospice and Palliative Care are about enjoying time with family and friends. Goals of care include having the best quality of life possible.
For more information on Sentara Hospice Services, call 1-800-466-3227 or visit www.sentara.com/hospice.
By: Dale Gauding