November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and hospice and palliative care programs across the country are reaching out to help people understand all that hospice and palliative care offer.

In recent months, a number of notable Americans have died. They include Senator John McCain, the queen of soul Aretha Franklin, and former first lady Barbara Bush. In many media reports, they were described as having “given up” on curative care late in their lives. Ms. Franklin opted for hospice care; Mrs. Bush received what was described as “comfort care.”

“It is essential that people understand that hospice and palliative care is not giving up, it is not the abandonment of care, it is not reserved for the imminently dying,” said Edo Banach, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “Hospice is a successful model of person-centered care that brings hope, dignity and compassion when they are most needed.”

Every year, nearly 1.5 million Medicare beneficiaries receive care from hospices in this country, reports NHPCO. Hospice and palliative care programs provide pain management, symptom control, psycho-social support, and spiritual care to patients and their family caregivers when a cure is not possible.

Throughout the month of November, Circle of Life will be joining organizations across the nation hosting activities that will help the community understand how important hospice and palliative care can be.

More information about hospice and advance care planning is available from Circle of Life by calling 479-750-6632. 

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