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National Home, Hospice and Palliative Care Month: Recognizing Caregivers

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National Home, Hospice and Palliative Care Month: Recognizing Caregivers

For more than a decade, November has been recognized as National Home Care, Hospice and Palliative Care month to help raise awareness for these services and those who provide them. With the help of dedicated nurses, clinicians and support staff, patients receive important care from the comfort of home.

Home care is often needed during delicate times in a patient’s life – after being diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, when getting around seems impossible, or even during the final hours of life. Caregivers who assist in providing these services can wear a number of hats - including cheerleader, teacher, mediator, rehabilitator, and even therapist – and are there during the times we need them most.

UnityPoint at Home would like to extend a special thank you this month to those who help provide hospice, palliative and home care services in the states of Iowa and Illinois, and beyond.

We would also like to encourage those who have been touched by one of these special caregivers to show appreciation. Simple ways to show your appreciation include:

  • Thank a caregiver directly. If you see someone who helped you, or even a friend who provides in-home services, passing along a quick word of thanks can go a long way.
  • Write a small note of thanks, even if the care provided wasn’t recent. Writing a quick note sharing the difference a nurse or other caregiver made in your life is a great way to remind him or her how important their work is.
  • Nominate an outstanding caregiver for an industry award, such as The DAISY Award. While public recognition is not the reason caregivers do their job, it is a great way to recognize compassionate, skillful care.
  • Provide feedback to a supervisor. Letting a caregiver’s supervisor know of a particular way he or she provided exceptional care or ongoing helpful support, is another great way to show your caregiver thanks that could lead to additional recognition.

While home, hospice and palliative care provide various services during different times of life, all share the goal of increasing comfort for patients. Unsure in the difference between palliative, home and hospice care from UnityPoint Health? Learn more below or click here.

What is Home Care?

Home care encompasses a number of services – from pediatric to adult and senior care. Caregivers work with patients, their families and the rest of their medical team to develop a custom coordinated care plan to meet the needs of each unique patient.

Home Care services from UnityPoint at Home can include:

  • Assistance with daily activities and therapy to learn how to do these activities independently
  • On-site nurses that provide care according to patient’s individual needs
  • Physical, speech, occupational and respiratory therapies
  • Chronic illness control and symptom management
  • Wound care
  • Medical equipment installation and training

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is available to patients dealing with a serious illness, regardless of age or stage of life. Caregivers who provide palliative care focus on stress and pain relief, and help patients learn how to alleviate symptoms and avoid triggers. Palliative care services can be provided on a short- or long- term basis.

What is Hospice?

Hospice care services are available when a life-limiting illness no longer responds to treatment. Unlike palliative care, hospice care is available when life expectancy is six months or less. Services provided are not done to prolong life, but instead have the goal of making the patient feel as comfortable as possible during their final stages of life.

Hospice care is coordinated between a number of health care professionals, including nurses, physicians and others who all work together to provide the right plan of care. The medical team works together to relieve pain and suffering. Hospice care services offered by UnityPoint Hospice include:

  • Pain and symptom control
  • Spiritual guidance
  • Home and inpatient care
  • Respite care
  • Bereavement support

In-home Care from UnityPoint at Home

With the help of our expert caregivers, UnityPoint at Home is able to put patients’ needs and health concerns first. Click here to learn more about palliative, hospice and home care services offered.