World Hospice and Palliative Care Day
By Barbara Nicols
Saturday, October 12, is World Hospice and Palliative Care Day. In over 70 countries around the world, there will be celebrations of the hospice movement within a unified theme. This year, the theme is: “Achieving universal coverage of palliative care: dispelling the myths.” And there are certainly a lot of myths associated with hospice, such as:
World Hospice & Palliative Care Day
Sat, Oct 12, 11am-3pm
Hospice San Miguel
Julian Carrillo 5B
Myth: Having hospice and palliative care means you will die soon.
Fact: Hospice and palliative care are not just for the end of life. It is a holistic approach that includes caregiver support, spiritual care, bereavement and much more. Hospice and palliative care are about having the best quality of life for however long life remains. Until the end of life, it is important to be free from pain, symptoms and suffering. Recent studies show that many patients who receive palliative care may live longer than those receiving standard care based on a more curative model.
Myth: Palliative care manages pain through the use of addictive narcotics.
Fact: Palliative care is holistic care that provides psychosocial and spiritual care along with pain and symptom management. The founder of the modern hospice movement, Dame Cicely Saunders, came up with the concept of “total pain” to describe how patients experience suffering in many dimensions. These include physical, social, psychological, and spiritual or existential suffering. Pain relievers like morphine are essential to good palliative care to relieve pain and other symptoms and can be safely used, but other measures are also needed to address pain including counseling and social support.
Myth: Hospices are generally just for old people
Fact: Hospice and palliative care are for people of all ages. People don’t like to think that children die, however a big part of palliative care is care for children. People of all ages can develop a life-limiting illness and palliative care programs need to be prepared to care for patients of any age.
These are just a few of the “myths” we’re working on dispelling this year, but please visit worldday.org for the full list.
Here at Hospice San Miguel, we provide compassionate end-of-life care to those in need. Hospice patients do not need to fear that the professional assistance and medications will not be available in their time of need. Patients can keep their own doctor, or if there is no attending physician, the Hospice doctor can be appointed at the patient’s request. Medication, equipment and supplies are provided based upon the patient’s ability to pay. No one is turned away because they cannot pay. Hospice San Miguel receives no support from any agency or government program. We are supported entirely by the community we serve.
Stop by our office on Saturday at Julian Carrillo 5B in Guadalupe. We will be serving free refreshments as well providing information (in Spanish and English) about Hospice San Miguel and Palliative Care in general. Please come out and say hello and find out more about our organization.