Each November, we celebrate National Home Care and Hospice Month by honoring the millions of nurses, home health aides, therapists, social workers, and family caregivers who help our loved ones obtain proper care in the comfort of their homes. Unsung heroes, these caregivers and health professionals are an integral part of our health-care system and the communities in which they work.
According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, nearly 2 million people receive hospice care each year. Among these patients, the leading condition requiring care is cancer, followed by circulatory or heart disease and dementia.
Here are some other facts related to hospice and palliative care:
The majority of hospice care is provided at the patient’s home, whether a private residence or senior care community.
The number of people enrolled in hospice care increases each year.
The median span of hospice services is about 18 days.
In 2018, 1.1 million Medicare beneficiaries died while enrolled in hospice care.
How to Honor Home Care and Hospice Workers
It may seem impossible to properly repay home care and hospice workers for the invaluable services they provide, but you can never underestimate the power of small gestures. A gift for a caregiver can be as simple as a handwritten thank-you card or as generous as a massage or manicure.
No two caregivers have the same interests, but they all share a passion for helping people live healthier and safer lives. By letting them know how much you appreciate their efforts, you can make a world of difference in their days.
As you may expect, the vast majority of seniors prefer to stay in their homes for the long term. We can’t overstate how important home-care and hospice workers are in making this desire a reality.
Even beyond National Home Care and Hospice Month, it’s important to take the time to show your appreciation for these caregivers. For many, they are the key to aging in place.
To learn more about home care and hospice, check out our helpful guides.