Brookings Health System Raises Awareness During Hospice and Palliative Care Month

Posted: 11/7/2011

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and Brookings Health System wants the community to know that the organization's hospice program is available to help patients facing terminal illness.

Coping with a serious or life-limiting illness is not easy. In fact, it might be the hardest work you'll ever do. Working with doctors and hospitals, navigating the maze of care needs, figuring out insurance coverage, all in addition to taking care of your family can be overwhelming.

Hospice care providers take the time to talk with you and help you understand your illness and what care options might be available. They make your wishes a priority and make sure you get the care you want and deserve.

"We're working hard all year round to make sure people know that support, comfort and respect are available at a time when hope seems out of reach," said Lynne Kaufmann, home health and hospice coordinator at Brookings Health System. "Yet during November, we ramp up our efforts to raise awareness of the high-quality care that's available during one of life's most challenging times."

Hospice care provides expert pain management, symptom control, psycho-social support and spiritual care to patients and families when a cure is not possible. All the necessary medicines and equipment needed to keep a patient comfortable can be brought right to the home, which is where most Americans would like to be if at all possible. Hospice makes this happen.

More than 1.5 million people with a life-limiting illness get help from the nation's hospice and palliative care providers every single year.

"It's about quality of life. With the help of hospice care, patients and families can focus on what's most important, living as fully as possible in spite of illness," Kaufmann said.

"There's an inaccurate perception among the American public that hospice means you've given up," said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. "Those of us who have worked in the field have seen firsthand how hospice can improve the quality of life. And there's a growing body of research showing that hospice care may prolong the lives of some people who receive care."

Brookings Health System's hospice program is one component of organization's home services. For more information on home health and hospice, or to request services, call 605-696-7700 or visit brookingshealth.org.

About Brookings Health System
Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed Brookview Manor nursing home, and Brookhaven Estates apartments. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, and extended care services. The emergency room is staffed 24 hours a day and provides around the clock medical-nursing care for patient needs ranging from minor injuries to life threatening crises. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at brookingshealth.org.