Friday, August 19, 2022

Play

A look at lack of representation as a deterrent for young voters; Maine's DOT goes green while Washington state aims to make homes more energy resilient; and a growing momentum for trauma-informed care.

Play

Florida judge says Mar-a-Lago search affidavit should be partially released, former chief financial officer of Trump Organization pleads guilty to grand larceny and tax fraud, and the Biden administration says it's moving monkeypox vaccine production to U.S.

Play

More women enter politics in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling on Roe v. Wade, one owner of a small town Texas newspaper fights to keep local news alive, and millions of mental health dollars could help reduce the suicide rate among farmers and ranchers.

November Spotlights Benefits of Hospice and Palliative Care

Play

Tuesday, November 9, 2021   

TABERNASH, Colo. -- November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, and advocates hope all Coloradans will consider these under-utilized health-care services for themselves and family members.

Katie Sue Van Valkenburg, medical social worker for Namaste Home Health, said everyone will go through an end-of-life journey, and hospice care, which is available to anyone facing a prognosis of 6 months or less to live, can help families and friends make the most of their remaining time together.

"And just like we celebrate babies being born, I want to make sure that we are celebrating people as they leave this life," Van Valkenburg urged. "Because hospice is covered by insurance, why not utilize it, so you can have a much more enjoyable and comfortable end-of-life experience, both for you and your family?"

Palliative care focuses on improving the quality of a patient's life, as opposed to curing a specific illness. Hospice teams provide medical care and pain management and give family caregivers a break by helping with showering and other daily activities. They help navigate Medicare and Medicaid paperwork, and offer emotional and spiritual support, including 13 months of bereavement services for family members and friends.

Matt Whitaker, national director of integrated programs for Compassion and Choices, noted most people access hospice through a doctor's referral, and added you can also find options online.

One common misunderstanding about palliative care is patients are giving up so-called battles with their illness.

Whitaker pointed out many patients continue chemotherapy and other regimens as they struggle with powerful diseases.

"And what we have to do is support people as they make the decision to move from focusing on cure to focusing on care," Whitaker contended. "Making sure that they are able to spend the days that they have left doing what gives them the most meaning possible."

Van Valkenburg emphasized she hopes Namaste's new operation in Grand County will help more patients stay in their homes. Before Nameste arrived, palliative care had not been available in the area for 8 months, which is not uncommon in many rural communities.

"But most of the time if they require a nursing home or a secure unit because of advanced dementia, they were being shipped down to Denver," Van Valkenburg explained. "Which means they are no longer close to family, which can definitely cause a lot of emotional stress and trauma for everyone involved."

Disclosure: Compassion & Choices contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Health Issues, Senior Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Earlier this year, nearly 1,300 Minnesotans participated in a new initiative that provides free schooling for people who want to become certified nursing assistants. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This fall, additional free classes will be offered in Minnesota for people thinking about a career as a certified nursing assistant. It follows an …


Health and Wellness

Legislation signed into law this month by Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to bring updates long overdue to mental-health services in Massachusetts…

Environment

The Maine Department of Transportation is "going green," with plans to install solar arrays on three state-owned properties in Augusta. The …


A new Indigenous academy in South Dakota, geared for younger students, says it wants the kids to have a deep sense of belonging, higher engagement and motivation. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Organizers behind a new Indigenous school in western South Dakota hope they can give young Native American students a more optimal learning environmen…

Environment

Numerous community advocates are calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to build a long-proposed subway station at 10th Avenue and 41st …

hearing aids are not covered under Medicare or most insurance plans. (EdwardOlive/Adobestock)

Social Issues

Relief may be on the way for many older Nevadans who need hearing aids but can't afford to pay $3,000 to $5,000 for a pair. The Food and Drug …

Social Issues

Workers in Michigan won major victories recently as a minimum-wage increase and employer paid sick time program were reinstated by court order…

Social Issues

Small-business owners and entrepreneurs in a handful of towns across the state have resources at their fingertips to help renovate and reuse historic …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021