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Out and About – Week of June 24th

Webster’s New World Dictionary and Thesaurus defines “Hospice” two ways:

A shelter for travelers.
A homelike facility for the care of terminally ill patients.
When I think of Hospice, I think of it as described in the second definition. It’s a place you go, sort of like a reception station for Heaven. Part of this is true. If you’re in the last stages of life and your days on earth are definitely numbered, Hospice can make those days easier to deal with for you and your surviving family.

Some are under the impression that Hospice is a place. It is not a place, but rather a philosophy of care. It can be provided in any place the patient calls home. This may include, but is not limited to assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, independent living facilities, and of course, your personal home.

I’ve had people tell me that Hospice is not palliative care. Actually, all hospice services are palliative in nature; however, not all palliative care is delivered under the Medicare hospice benefit.

It can be quite confusing when talking about Hospice and Palliative services. Here are three ways in which they are similar:

Both hospice and palliative services have a goal of improving quality of life for the patient and the family.
Both can be provided wherever the patient considers home.
Both are covered under Medicare, Medicaid and many insurance plans.
I apologize for taking half a column discussing Hospice, but I feel that it’s important and there are a majority of us who will someday welcome the services that they provide. There are many myths you might have heard and I’m sure many may have questions. For answers to any questions, please contact Hospice any time. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 877-329-1001. You might be surprised at some of the answers they’ll provide.

I’ll have more information on Hospice in a future column.

Here are some odds and ends. Some might be a bit funny, while others make a lot of sense:

Optometrists live longer because they dilate.
Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the right you.
The problem with political jokes is that they sometimes get elected.
One minute of anger weakens the immune system for four to five hours. One minute of laughter boosts the immune system for twenty-four hours.
In this life, it’s so important to know when to stop arguing with someone and just let them be wrong.
“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?” ~ Satchel Paige
M*A*S*H continues to have re-runs on television. This series deals with life during the Korean War, a war that was never won or lost. It was considered by some to be just a “Police Action”. This conflict began 69 years ago today.

Last Friday, June 21, marked the first day of summer. The one sad thing about this is that the days will now be getting shorter, by a few minutes, every day. Enjoy the season while it lasts.

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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