By Kimberly Barone Baden
November 4, 2011
November is National Hospice Month, a time to advocate for people who suffer grave illness and deserve to have the best end-of-life care possible. It is also a time to recognize the hospice caregivers who dedicate their lives to this mission.
An estimated 1.5 million Americans receive help and support from hospice care providers each year. The National Hospice Foundation (NHF) spearheads efforts to improve end-of-life research, education, consumer involvement and caregiver services.
Consumer research conducted by the NHF found that 80 percent of Americans would prefer to have end-of-life care in their homes and home-care providers make this possible for an estimated 70 percent of patients. This success is especially valuable when we consider that, although the majority would wish to be at home, 25 percent of Americans will pass away in an assisted living facility.
This reality is especially startling as an estimated 30 percent of nursing home facilities are cited for physical or emotional abuse. Even more disturbing, this percentage does not encompass the numerous incidents of nursing home abuse that go unreported. Although nursing home and assisted living residents require the help and care of others, their dignity and treatment should not be compromised under any circumstance, and they deserve the highest quality of care.
The theme for this year’s National Hospice Month, “We Listen, We Care,” reflects the goal to increase public awareness of end-of-life care and encourage communities to increase their understanding of both the emotional and physical burden that life-limiting illnesses can cause for individuals and their loved ones. NHF encourages citizens to get involved with community activities and programs in observance of National Hospice Month.
Join us in raising awareness for the value of quality end-of-life care and in recognizing the hospice and palliative caregivers who are committed to this effort. For a list of events and inspiration, visit the Get Involved section of the NHF website.