Hospice is a philosophy of care aimed at providing a network of support for people with a life threatening or terminal disease.
The goals of hospice care are to incorporate physical, psychological, social and spiritual well being to establish the best quality of life possibility for individuals who no longer want to pursue aggressive measures of curative care.
November is National Hospice Month.
Joanie Kush is the VNA’s Vice President of Hospice and Palliative Care. She says the VNA is trying to educate patients, doctors and families that hospice was actually built around a six-month prognosis.
"What’s happened in the last few years is we have hospice patients entering into a hospice arrangement in the last few days of their life. So what the state campaign is trying to do is teach people that these services, which are financially very good for them, when they pay for medication and supplies, could be utilized earlier. It could be used up to six months to the end of their life rather than the last few days.”
Kush says the VNA gets feedback all the time from families who say they wish they had known about hospice care sooner.
She says if an individual chooses a palliative approach to care, the VNA can usually make a difference.