Letter to the Editor

Time to recognize health professionals

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

November is National Home Care and Hospice Month, a time to recognize the many professionals who bring care and compassion to patients in their places of residence. At Kindred Hospice, (formerly Gentiva Hospice) we are incredibly proud of our nurses, social workers, aides and other professionals who not only deliver outstanding care to our patients and family members, but also provide comfort, inspire hope and ensure dignity is preserved

National Home Care and Hospice Month are equally important because it brings awareness to services so many in this nation take on themselves, often without knowing there are alternatives.

Today over 57 percent of Americans are providing unpaid care to a friend or loved one, per AARP. This is extremely stressful work and one of the more difficult things most of us will ever undertake in life. And yet there is almost no preparation -- and often little knowledge of the resources available to help -- when you find yourself in the role of caregiver.

National Home Care and Hospice Month was created to help bridge this information gap. The awareness effort seeks to get the word out that if you are caring for someone, you are not alone. There are resources that can help your loved one and you as a caregiver. Home Health for instance is one of the fastest growing segments in healthcare, and one of the most cost effective. It is also a Medicare benefit and using that benefit can make a huge impact in helping an individual transition successfully from a hospital stay and recover in his or her home.

Hospice care might still be better known than home health, but it is commonly underutilized and misunderstood. Yet, it too, is a benefit available to caregivers that can provide enormous physical, financial, emotional, and spiritual help when it matters most.

National Home Care and Hospice Month is a great reminder about the importance of caregiving. Please take the time to learn more about the benefits and resources that are out there. If you have any questions, I know my company, Kindred Hospice, or another provider can help you. We serve numerous patients each year in the Spirit Lake area and surrounding nine counties. Another helpful resource -- and it's free -- is the Kindred Contact Center at 1-866-Kindred.

We are all just one phone call away from becoming a caregiver. The call you make thereafter- to access the many resources to aid in home health and hospice -- can make a difference in the world for you and love one you care for

Sincerely,

Robin Lock, RN, CHPN

Executive Director

Kindred Hospice (formerly Gentiva Hospice)