2011-11-24 / Letters

November is National Home Care And Hospice Month

To The Editor:

The women and men who work to bring healthcare into the homes of Americans are recognized each year with the proclamation of November as National Home Care & Hospice Month! It is a well-deserved tribute for a group of folks committed to improving quality of life for some of the most frail members of our community.

I am certain that some readers have experienced the compassionate touch of home care. I am just as certain that others will have been unaware of its availability until this moment.

Regardless of which reader you are, I would ask that during this time of Thanksgiving, you take a few minutes to be thankful for dedicated and compassionate people who sometimes brave bad weather, mean dogs, poor directions, unsafe neighborhoods or uncertain household situations to bring healthcare home. Be thankful also for the men and women who support them by ordering the supplies, fixing the computers, writing the checks, filing the paperwork, answering the phone and any number of other back office tasks. They fill important roles that allow the caregivers to focus on people who need care.

The debate over healthcare rages on but one thing is certain. The vast majority of us prefer to be cared for in the comfort of our home, surrounded by the people that mean the most in our lives. Not only is it a personal preference but it has proven to be more cost effective than facility based care while producing the same or better outcomes for many individuals. Yet our industry is challenged by shrinking reimbursement just when it should be expanding to meet the needs of our growing senior population. If you have been touched by home care or hospice, or even if you haven’t but can see its value, support the men and women who provide it. Tell your legislators every chance you get to support those actions that expand the availability and accessibility of home care and oppose those actions that cause its contraction. It’s National Home Care & Hospice Month. Be one of those individuals who celebrates by helping to assure the industry’s future.

Terry J. Shade

Vice President

Community Health

Services

Lutheran Social Services of

South Central Pennsylvania

Executive Director

Lutheran Home Care

& Hospice Inc.

CEO

LIFE Lutheran Services

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