A Proclamation for Greater Awareness and Understanding of Hospice Care
November 1, 2021: In recognition of November being National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization has issued the following Proclamation calling for greater awareness and understanding of hospice care and community-based palliative care.
WHEREAS, 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 the people important to them;
WHEREAS, the hospice model is built on an interdisciplinary, team-oriented approach to treatment and support, including expert medical care, quality symptom control, and comprehensive pain management as a foundation of care;
WHEREAS, beyond providing clinical treatment, hospice attends to the patient’s emotional, spiritual and social needs, and provides family services like caregiver training, respite care, and bereavement support;
WHEREAS, community-based palliative care, which delivers expertise to improve quality of life through pain and symptom control and other support, can be provided at any time during a serious illness, and given that hospice organizations are some of the best providers of community-based palliative care;
WHEREAS, in an increasingly fragmented and broken health care system, hospice is one of the few sectors that demonstrates how health care can – and should – work at its best for the people it serves;
WHEREAS, 1.61 million Medicare beneficiaries living with life-limiting illness and their families received care from the nation’s hospice programs* in communities throughout the United States in 2019;
WHEREAS, over the course of the last two decades, we have seen increasing access of hospice care by Black and Hispanic Medicare beneficiaries,* yet NHPCO recognizes that continued efforts to improve care to diverse communities is essential;
WHEREAS, data shows significant changes in patient diagnoses,* calling for innovation in how hospices provide care to those in need;
WHEREAS, hospice and palliative care organizations are advocates and educators about advance care planning that help individuals make decisions about the care they want;
NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that the Board of Directors of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, do hereby proclaim November 2021 as National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and encourage all Americans to increase their knowledge about person-centered, holistic care for all individuals facing serious and life-limiting illness, discuss their health care wishes with those they care about, and mark this month with appropriate learning and sharing.
Affirmed by the NHPCO Board of Directors
November 1, 2021