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The Importance Of Hospice Care

With the recent announcement of former President Jimmy Carter going into hospice care, Memorial Health is encouraging others to look into hospice care and see what it really is and if it’s right for your loved ones. Registered Nurse Holly Thomas is a clinical manager for Memorial Home Hospice, a service in Springfield that serves the community. Thomas says Hospice is not a place, but a service for those at the end of life. 


Thomas says hospice focuses on comfort rather than cure which includes support for families and caregivers.  The goal is to provide guidance and comfort through the end-of-life journey. Thomas says that there are misconceptions that hospice care stops all medications or hastens death, but that’s not the case. 


People may be candidates for hospice care if they have a terminal illness and a life expectancy of six months or less or if they have decided to stop active treatment.  Patients may also consider hospice if they wish to have diagnostic testing performed or admitted to the hospital. Hospice teams include physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, bereavement services, home health aides, volunteers, and various therapists and dietitians. 


Visits are made to wherever the home is for the patient, whether that is a nursing facility, assisted living, group home, or the patient's home.  A patient’s own physician can remain involved and hospice provides 24-hour support and availability.  Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurances cover hospice, although coverage can vary. 


For more information, talk to your primary care physician or visit memorial.health. 

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