Throughout the month of November, Arkansas Valley Hospice will be joining organizations across the nation hosting community activities in recognition of National Hospice and Palliative Care Month.  

For more than 40 years, hospice has helped provide comfort and dignity to millions of people, allowing them to spend their final months at home, surrounded by their loved ones. Hospices ensure that pain management, therapies, and treatments all support a plan of care that is centered on the person’s goals. This care also provides emotional support and advice to help family members become confident caregivers and adjust to the future with grief support for up to a year.
 
“It is essential that people understand that hospice and palliative care is not giving up, it is not the abandonment of care, and it is not reserved for the imminently dying,” said Edo Banach, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “Hospice is a successful model of person-centered care that brings hope, dignity and compassion when they are most needed. This is one reason that the national My Hospice Campaign was launched in 2018.”

Every year, nearly 1.5 million Medicare beneficiaries receive care from hospices in this country, the organization reports. Hospice is unique in that it offers an interdisciplinary team approach to treatment. Caring for the whole person allows the team to address each patient’s unique needs and challenges.

As Tara Castaneda, a hospice liaison at Arkansas Valley Hospice noted, “Not all hospices are the same, and not all hospice experiences will be the same. Hospice is not a place. Hospice is a form of care.

"It is important for everyone to know they have choices available to them. I enjoy educating the community and families about Arkansas Valley Hospice and patient choice. I enjoy knowing that Arkansas Valley Hospice does their absolute best to provide everyone with the education, tools, and resources available to them within their community.

"When decisions need to be made, that they feel a sense of peace and can find comfort knowing they chose hospice. Through all the unknown those families might be facing in the days, weeks, months or years ahead, I know that everyone will be treated with kindness, compassion, dignity, and choice. The medical team at Arkansas Valley Hospice is very kind, and they treat each family as if it were their own. I know from personal experience. A good hospice provides the best care possible when you need it most. I know we do that at Arkansas Valley Hospice. I want to help other families get that same level of care.”

Hospices are also some of the best providers of community-based palliative care. Palliative care delivers expertise to improve quality of life and relief from pain. It can be provided at any time during an illness — during and after treatment, from diagnosis on.

Arkansas Valley Hospice is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Volunteers, and community support are essential to provide care to patients and families from the Arkansas Valley. Upcoming events during the month of November and throughout the holiday season include the following:

The annual Memory Trees at Arkansas Valley Hospice. You may purchase the following Ornament or Memory Bow in honor of your loved one: Handmade Wooden Ornament created by Bob Fowler (includes personalized vellum name tag) $25; Memory Ribbon (Gold), $20; (Silver), $15; (Blue), $10; (Red), $5; or Veteran Ribbon (Red/White/Blue) $12.

If you or someone you know would like more information about hospice, palliative care, advance care planning, or bereavement services. the Arkansas Valley Hospice team is here to help. Stop by 531 Lewis Ave., La Junta, CO 81050, or call 719-384-8827.