As we enter the Holiday Season, a wonderful opportunity is presented to us all, so turn down the volume on the game, tell your family you want to “talk turkey,” and give yourself and your loved ones the gift of preparation.

It’s an all-too-common situation: A family is at the bedside of a loved one who is seriously ill and nearing the end of life. Each member of the family has a different idea of what should be done and what the patient would have wanted.

Far too many people wait until they are amid a healthcare crisis before thinking about what options are available or what care they or their loved ones would want.

Often, by waiting too long to learn about options like hospice care, patients spend difficult days in the hospital or emergency room, and time at home with loved ones is lost.

When a family is coping with a serious illness and a cure is no longer possible, hospice provides the type of care most people say they want at the end of life: comfort and dignity.

Considered to be the model for high-quality, compassionate care for people with a life-limiting illness, hospice care includes expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support. An inter-disciplinary team of professionals and trained volunteers provides this care in compliance with the wishes of patients and their families.

Hospice care is paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans and HMOs.

To make it easier to start the conversation, Hospice offers a printable publication called 5- Wishes as well as The One Slide Project, which can be downloaded on the Community Resource page of our website, www.Hospiceoforange.com

Hospice of Orange & Sullivan Counties is the leading community resource for providing patients and families with compassionate physical, emotional and spiritual end of life care, with comfort, dignity and respect. For more information on Hospice and the services it provides, call 845-561-6111