November is home and hospice care month

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November is Home and Hospice Care Month, set aside to honor those who attend to the in-home health, hospice and community based care needs of the state’s citizens in the comfort and privacy of their homes.

Home care describes a wide variety of health and health related services provided in a home setting to sustain, maintain or restore an individual’s health and well-being. Hospice, which focuses on comfort care and symptom management, is a special way of caring for individuals who are in the final stage of their lives due to a terminal illness.

South Carolinians receive care from in-home service providers located across the entire state. Services provided by these agencies include skilled nursing, medical social work, intravenous (IV) therapy, physical therapy, speech language pathology, occupational therapy, home medical equipment, respite care, personal care services, bereavement counseling, pain management and quality, end-of-life care. These services are provided by a variety of organizations, including Medicare-certified home health and hospice providers, private duty nursing agencies, in-home aide agencies, councils-on-aging, departments of social services, home medical equipment companies, IV therapy agencies and adult day service providers. Some agencies also provide companion and sitter services, in-home management, home modifications and volunteer services.

Care provided in the comfort and security of an individual’s home through a licensed agency gives individuals, their family, and friends, a sense of control and peace of mind. While it helps keep families together and promotes independence and patient dignity, in-home care also provides a wide range of health care and social services to the patient and teaches families to help care for their family member.

In-home health, hospice, and community-based services compassionately care for citizens of all ages and also provide love, comfort and support at the end of life. The services provide the greatest degree of independence, freedom and dignity possible for patients, allowing them to remain at home, close to their family and friends, in familiar surroundings.

“We believe that working in this field is a great gift,” says Val Halamandaris, President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice. “Although it is difficult, the work in home care and hospice is highly gratifying. It is a great honor to represent those who love and care for millions of aged, infirm, disabled and dying Americans every year.”