November is the Time to Recognize Home Care & Hospice Professionals
Linda Derse and Sue Davidson
NORTH CONWAY, NH -- During November, Visiting Nurse Home Care & Hospice of Carroll County and Western Maine honor the many nurses, home health aides, therapists, social workers, chaplains, and homemakers who make a remarkable difference for the patients and families they serve. These heroic caregivers play a central role in our healthcare system and in homes across the Valley. To recognize their efforts, we ask our community to commemorate the power of caring and join with VNHCH and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) by celebrating November as Home Care and Hospice Month.
With 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day, including an increasingly aged population here in Mt. Washington Valley, the need for health care will continue to rise, and costs will continue to skyrocket. This is where home care comes in. As the preferred choice for most patients, it also offers the greatest cost savings. For example, Medicare pays nearly $2,000 per day for a typical hospital stay and $450 per day for a typical nursing home stay. Meanwhile, home care costs less than $100 a day and helps many seniors remain independent at home, enrich their lives, and keep in touch with those they love, including their pets.
Executive Director Sandy Ruka stated, “We provide a wide range of services in the home including skilled nursing and wound care, homemaker and home health aides, long term care, medical social services, hospice and palliative care.”
“We believe that home health care is an essential part of today's health care continuum. We have the knowledge and skills to help people remain at home as they recover or rehabilitate from an illness or injury, and to age in place in their community. We ask our community to take a moment to reflect on the value of home care and hospice and to thank our team members who bring these vital services to their homes.”
Ruka also took time to explain the definition of hospice care. “Hospice is focused on caring for the whole person, including physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of both client and family. We provide this care with an interdisciplinary team of professionals and volunteers who use their combined knowledge and skills to support an individual and their family in the end-of-life experience.”
Sandy added, “Hospice programs make it possible for people to spend the final time of their lives at home with support from physicians, nurses, spiritual caregivers, social workers, home health aides and volunteers.”
Hospice is available to those who not only have a diagnosis of cancer, but many other chronic terminal illnesses including lung disease, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, dementia, HIV/AIDS, and other conditions. The individual should have a desire to remain at home for end-of-life care and have caregivers available. Hospice staff makes regular visits to the individual at home, and are available on a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week basis.
For more information about Home Care & Hospice Month, visit the National Association for Home Care & Hospice at www.NAHC.org. For more information on Visiting Nurse Home Care & Hospice of Carroll County and Western Maine, visit them online at www.vnhch.org or call (603) 356-7006.