Giving thanks for hospice
Each year around this time, we are reminded to think about what deserves our thanks. Of course, family and friends are usually at or near the top of the list. As a licensed funeral director who regularly interacts with families that will soon lose a loved one, I am forever grateful for our partners who provide hospice care. That’s why it’s so appropriate that November is recognized as National Hospice and Palliative Care month.
Why would funeral directors be such supporters of hospice? First, we sincerely want the families who select us for cremation services to be supported. We see the families who have the gift of hospice services are better prepared and more at peace when making end-of-life arrangements. On many occasions, I have seen what a valuable service hospice is. The compassion and tender care these dedicated professionals provide helps make heartbreaking situations more bearable.
Hospice care includes expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support. All of it is tailored to the needs and wishes of the patient and the patient’s loved ones. I like how the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) describes its core belief: “…that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so.”
Here are just some of what hospice team members do:
- Manage the patient’s pain and symptoms
- Provide needed drugs, medical supplies and equipment
- Help the patient with the emotional and spiritual aspects of dying
- Help prepare both the patient and loved ones for what to expect as death approaches
- Provide bereavement care and counseling to involved family and friends
Some numbers highlighted in the NHPCO proclamation of National Hospice and Palliative Care Month really stand out and made me even more appreciative. The organization says each year, hospice saves Medicare more than $2 billion by providing solutions for physicians, care to patients and comfort to families. Every year more than 1.65 million Americans with life-limiting illness, and their families, receive care from the nation’s hospice programs. And the generosity is off the charts: more than 430,000 trained volunteers contribute 19 million hours of service to hospice programs annually.
Best Cremation Care proudly supports hospice and palliative care and encourages families we serve to take advantage of the programs. They provide a gift for which we will always be thankful.
Best Cremation Care provides affordable cremation services throughout the Bay Area (San Francisco, Oakland / Alameda, and San Jose / Santa Clara) and Southern California (Los Angeles, Long Beach, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, and San Diego County). We are a licensed funeral establishment and have an A+rating from the Better Business Bureau.