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Posts tagged: Hospice

Hospice: 10 facts you may not know

Press release from The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization today:

Last year, 1.65 million dying Americans were cared for by hospice. Yet, there are some important facts about hospice that people don’t know. And this may be keeping people from getting the best care possible, when they need it most.

  1. Hospice is not a place—it’s high-quality care that focuses on comfort and quality of life.
  2. Hospice is paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance plans. Fear of costs should never prevent a person from accessing hospice care.
  3. Hospice serves anyone with a life-limiting illness, regardless of age or type of illness.
  4. Hospice provides expert medical care as well as spiritual and emotional support to patients and families.
  5. Research has shown that the majority of Americans would prefer to be at home at the end of life—hospice makes this possible for most people.
  6. Hospice serves people living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
  7. Hospice patients and families can receive care for six months or longer.
  8. A person may keep his or her referring physician involved while receiving hospice care.
  9. Hospice offers grief and bereavement services to family members to help them adjust to the loss in their lives.
  10. Research has shown people receiving hospice care can live longer than similar patients who do not opt for hospice.

For more information, visit NHPCO’s Caring Connections at www.caringinfo.orgor call the HelpLine at 800-658-8898.

(S-R file photo)

We’re dying at home more and more

The National Institutes of Health sent out a report yesterday that detailed some snapshots of life of older Americans. The one that caught my eye, of course, was this announcement:

The percentage of older people who received hospice care in the last 30 days of life increased from 19 percent in 1999 to 43 percent in 2009. The percentage of older Americans who died in hospitals dropped from 49 percent in 1999 to 32 percent in 2009. The percentage who died at home increased from 15 percent in 1999 to 24 percent in 2009.

My prediction: In 10 years, up to 75 percent of people will die at home. And Hospices will boom in communities, both for profit and nonprofit.

(Dan Pelle/S-R photo of 2012 reunion of founders of Hospice of Spokane, left to right, Barb Savage, Marj Humphrey, Barb Cox and Johnny Cox)

Community Memorial Tree Friday

The holidays can be hard for those who have lost loved ones. Hospice of Spokane's Community Memorial Tree allows folks who have lost loved ones to decorate paper doves in their memory.

The doves are then hung on a beautiful tree. Last year, more than 1,000 of our community members made doves for the tree.

There is no cost to create the dove on the memorial tree which will be on display Dec. 9 through Dec. 18.

The opening ceremony is tomorrow at 10 at River Park Square, third level.

But you can create your memorial dove anytime from Dec.10 until the 18. Hospice folks will be at the tree to assist with the doves and also talk about services available from Hospice of Spokane.

Hospice of Spokane offers class for newly bereaved

Hospice of Spokane has some excellent programs for people in grief.

Here’s some information about a new offering, the Newly Bereaved Class, sent from Dale Hammond of Hospice of Spokane.

The series will offer information, education and activities in a group setting. Instructors will lead group discussions and use print and video curriculum from various national resources like the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

Content will cover topics including “Getting in Touch” (identifying and normalizing feelings and reactions), “Telling Your Story,” “Self Care,” “Relationships,” “Special Days” and “A New Normal.”

Class attendees who complete the series will learn about the bereavement process and are welcome to transition into our free grief support groups if they wish.

There is no cost to attend the series. The classes will be on the first, second and third Thursdays of each month beginning June, and will run 1:30-2:30. People who wish to attend should call Hospice of Spokane’s bereavement department at 509.456.0438 or email

Spirituality and end-of-life care

Every year the Hospice Foundation of America does an annual teleconference. Hospice of Spokane and Hospice of North Idaho telecast the half-day conference and follow it with panel discussions made up of local experts.

Here's a description of this year's program, which takes place Wednesday April 13:

The program will discuss differences between spirituality and religion, while also addressing spirituality during illness, death and grief, spiritual assessment and empowerment, and life review. Discussion will also include approaches to meaning-making at the end of life, dignity enhancement, helping patients utilize and enhance spiritual coping at end of life, and spiritual transference. The program provides an opportunity for a wide variety of professionals – including doctors, nurses, funeral directors, psychologists, educators, social workers and bereavement counselors – to share and exchange ideas and obtain continuing education credits.

For information on the Spokane telecast, click here.

For information on the North Idaho telecast, click here.

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About this blog

Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

Ask a question: Catherine welcomes questions about aging issues and grief. Email her at

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