Stay aware of palliative care

November 15, 2022

November is National Hospice Palliative Care Month, a time to raise awareness about the compassionate care that hospice and palliative care provides to patients and their families. Both hospice and palliative care focus on comfort and quality of life.

Hospice is a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain and symptom management, and emotional and spiritual support for people with a serious illness and a life expectancy of six months or less. The primary goal is to provide care and comfort when a cure may no longer be possible.

Palliative care is specialized medical care and an extra layer of support for people living with a serious illness. It focuses on relieving symptoms and stress of the illness. Palliative care can be provided to anyone at any age at any time during a serious or chronic illness and is available while you are also receiving curative treatment.

This year’s National Hospice and Palliative Care Month theme is “meeting you where you are.” Since 1978, Care Dimensions has been a driving force in expanding access to hospice and palliative care in Massachusetts. As the largest hospice in the state, Care Dimensions provides care for patients wherever they call “home” – private residences, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, group homes, and veterans’ facilities.  

Hospice teams work with patients and families to develop personalized care plans that will meet their needs.  This care ensures that each patient can achieve the highest quality of life and that their family is receiving the support they need. Hospice care also provides advice to help family members become confident caregivers and adjust to the future with grief support for up to 13 months.

I have been a hospice volunteer with Care Dimensions since 2018. Spending time with people nearing end of life feels very sacred to me. I have been blessed to witness how the hospice process helps make this a time of comfort, reconciliation, and peace.

As a member of a hospice team, I know that Care Dimensions provides the best care possible when patients and families need it most. I want to help other families get that same level of care. If you or your loved one is facing a serious or life-limiting illness, do not wait to find out how hospice or palliative care can help. The sooner you get the care you need, the sooner you can benefit from improved quality of life.

Susan Phillips