Smart Talk: What to know about hospice & palliative care
Scott LaMar | 12.10.13
Smart Talk Wednesday, November 20, 2013:
November was National Hospice and Palliative Care Month.
Since many people don't discuss death and end-of-life issues, they may not be familiar with with either concept.
The National Hospice Foundation says:
- Hospice is a special concept of care designed to provide comfort and support to patients and their families when a life-limiting illness no longer responds to cure-oriented treatments.
- Hospice care neither prolongs life nor hastens death. Hospice staff and volunteers offer a specialized knowledge of medical care, including pain management.
- The goal of hospice care is to improve the quality of a patient's last days by offering comfort and dignity.
Palliative care is centered on caring for patients and their families, supporting quality of life by anticipating, preventing and treating suffering.
Dr. Arlene Bobonich, with PinnacleHealth Palliative Care, writes in her Expert blog "Palliative medicine and its role in patient care:"
"It was not too long ago when a heart attack and cancer diagnosis were considered fatal. Today, however, when more caregivers and families are taking the approach of caring for the whole person – and not just the disease – those experiencing illness and suffering are able to find comfort and support. This is where Palliative Medicine has its place."
Smart Talk addresses hospice and palliative care of Wednesday's program with Dr. Joan Harrold, Vice President, Medical Services, Hospice & Community Care and Dr. Douglas Arbittier, Medical Director of Perioperative Services and physician champion of WellSpan Health's End-of-Life Taskforce.
Dr. Douglas Arbittier and Dr. Joan Harrold
For information on hospice with links to many resources, go to Walking on Sacred Ground.