UNION — A proclamation issued by city and county officials urges the public to educated themselves about hospice and palliative care services available to persons of all ages in the community.
The proclamation was signed Monday morning by City of Union Mayor Harold Washington and Union County Supervisor in a ceremony attended by Penny Adamo, community relations liaison for Hospice Care of South Carolina. It declares November as “National Hospice and Palliative Care Month” in Union County and the City of Union and urges the public to “increase their understanding awareness of care at the end of life.”
Hospice and palliative care are described by the proclamation as offering “the highest quality of care to patients and families and bring comfort, love and respect for all those they serve in communities across the nation and in Union.” It states that “hospice and palliative care providers take the time to ask what’s important to those they are caring for — and listen to what their patients and families say.” Hospice and palliative care professionals, a category which includes “physicians, nurses, social workers, therapists, counselors, and clergy,” provide “comprehensive and compassionate care that make the wishes of each patient and family a priority.”
The proclamation states that “through pain management and symptom control, caregiver training and assistance, and emotional and spiritual support,” patients are allowed to “live fully until the final moments, surrounded and supported by the faces of loved one, friends, and committed caregivers.
It further states that “provision of quality hospice and palliative care reaffirms our belief in the essential dignity of every person, regardless of age, health or social status, and that every stage of human life deserves to be treated with the utmost care and respect.”
The proclamation points out that every year 1.6 million Americans with “life-limiting” illnesses and their families receive care from hospice’s programs in communities throughout the United States; that “more than 468,000 trained volunteers contribute 22 million hours of service” to hospice programs annually; and that “hospice and palliative care providers encourage all people to learn more about options of care and to share their wishes with family, loved ones, and their health care professionals.”
Sinclair said his own experience with family members with conditions requiring hospice and palliative care as well as a growing demographic reality has taught him the importance of those services.
“Personal experience with relatives has shown me how hospice and palliative care is needed in any community,” Sinclair said. “As the Baby Boomer population ages, the need will increase. In fact, Harold and I have talked about the increased need in the future for nursing care for the aging population of Union County. I see this as an area of city-county cooperation.”
Thompson called on the public to support hospice and palliative care services in the community.
“I think it is a service that is well-needed in this area,” Thompson said. “I fully support it and hope more people will find out more about it.”
Adamo thanked Sinclair and Thompson and the county and the city for their support and discussed the services provided by Hospice Care of South Carolina.
“Hospice Care is the first and largest hospice in South Carolina,” Adamo said. “We specialize in crisis care as well as pediatric hospice programs. We are the only hospice that has pediatric programs. We also have national and state certified and licensed nurses and staff. The 12 people we have employed, including our medical director Dr. Robert Wentz, have over a hundred years of experience between them.”
Adamo described palliative care as designed to enable the patient to stay in their home and receive the care they and their families and caregivers need. She said hospice offers physical, emotional, mental and spiritual services to the more than 30 patients it is currently services in Union County.
The need for hospice and palliative care services continues to grow, but Adamo said the services provided by her organization is not only for the elderly or others at the end of life.
“There is a growing need for hospice and palliative care services and it’s not just for the elderly, but for anyone,” Adamo said. “It’s not just for the terminally, but for the chronically ill as well. We provide crisis care when the patient is at the point of death but we also provide services for many years to patients who are chronically ill.”
Adamo added that if a patient has insurance Hospice Care of South Carolina bills the insurance company for the services they receive. If, however, the patient does not have insurance, they still receive those services.
“No one is turned away,” Adamo said.
For more information about Hospice Care of South Carolina call 429-4827. Hospice Care of South Carolina is located at 408 N. Duncan Bypass, Suite 6, Union.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com.