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Hospice care is available to those who need it

No one likes to think about advanced illness but it's something most of us will have to face eventually. There's an incredible resource in our community that provides comfort, dignity and respect to all those coping with a complex illness. It's Hospice of the Chesapeake.

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, a time to reach out to our community to raise awareness about the compassionate care that Hospice of the Chesapeake provides. One of the most important messages we convey is that hospice care helps patients and families focus on living.

The hospice team provides expert medical care to keep patients comfortable which allows them to enjoy time with loved ones. The hospice team answers questions, offers advice on what to expect, and helps families with the duties of being a caregiver. The team also provides emotional and spiritual support for the entire family.

The expense of hospice care is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and by most insurance plans. Fortunately, Hospice of the Chesapeake provides care regardless of the patient's inability to pay for services. Patient care is provided in the home, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals and long term care centers.

Hospice care is available to people of all ages, with any illness. Hospice professionals and trained volunteers will ask you what's important and listen to what you say. They make your wishes a priority.

If you or a loved one is facing advanced illness, the time to find out more about hospice care is right now.

Michael S. McHale, Annapolis

The writer is president and CEO of Hospice of the Chesapeake.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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