Saturday, November 8, 2008

November is National Hospice Palliative Care Month

The Healing Project strongly advocates the pateints and caregivers consider hospice care as the end-of-life approaches. These facilities offer a kind and compassionate place to come to terms with one's mortality.

1.3 million people with life-limiting illness received care from the nation’s 4,500 hospice providers last year. This represents continued growth in both patients served and number of providers. Approximately 35 percent of all deaths in the US were under the care of a hospice program.

Additionally, the top five diagnoses among hospice patients reported by NHPCO show the continued trend of less cancer patients among those served. The top five diagnoses seen in hospice for 2006 are as follows:

Cancer 44.1 percent
Heart Disease 12.2 percent
Debility 11.8 percent
Dementia 10.0 percent
Lung Disease 7.7 percent

Throughout the month of November, hospice and palliative care organizations across the nation are hosting activities to educate the public and other healthcare professionals about the benefits of hospice and palliative care.

Hospice is not a place but a philosophy of care created to help people live with dignity, comfort, and compassion at the end of life. Palliative care works to bring this philosophy of care to people earlier in the course of a serious illness.

Hospice and palliative care programs provide pain management, symptom control, psychosocial support, and spiritual care to patients and their families. They also serve as valuable community resources about care options.

Additional information about hospice, palliative care, advance care planning, and talking with loved ones about these important issues is available from NHPCO’s Caring Connections. For information, to find a local hospice, or to get a free state-specific advance directive form, visit or call the HelpLine at 800/658-8898.

National Hospice Palliative Care Month
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
1700 Diagonal Road, Suite 625
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 837-1500 or (703) 837-3139
(703) 837-1233 Fax
Contact: Jon Radulovic

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