I would like to take a moment to draw attention to a very important event – National Home Care & Hospice Month, which occurs each November.

Today, over 57 percent of Americans are providing unpaid care to a friend or loved one, or have in the past. This work is one of the most stressful and difficult things most of us will ever undertake in life. And yet there is almost no preparation – and often little knowledge of the resources available to help – when you find yourself in the role of caregiver.

National Home Care & Hospice Month was created to help bridge this information gap. The awareness effort seeks to get the word out that if you are caring for someone, you are not alone. There are resources that can help your loved one and you as a caregiver. For example, few know that Home Healthcare is a Medicare benefit, yet using that benefit can make a huge impact in helping an individual transition well from a hospital stay and recover in his or her home.

Hospice care is better known than Home Health but commonly underutilized and misunderstood. Yet, it too, is a benefit available to caregivers that can provide enormous physical, financial, emotional, and spiritual help when it matters most.

National Home Care & Hospice Month is a great reminder about the importance of caregiving, and I hope everyone takes the time to learn more about the benefits and resources that are out there. If you have any questions, I know my company, Gentiva Home Health, or any other provider can help you. We serve about 700 patients each year in the York County area. Another helpful resource – and it is free – is the Kindred Contact Center at 1-866-Kindred.

We are all just one phone call away from becoming a caregiver. The calls you make thereafter – to access the many resources to aid in Home Health and Hospice – can make all the difference in the world for you and those you care for.

Barbra Domijan
Home Health Specialist