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Healthcare Options Before a Crisis Strikes

For Immediate Release:               
October 28, 2016

Learn about Your Healthcare Options Before a Crisis Strikes

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Stresses the Importance of Advance Care Planning and Talking with Loved Ones about Your Wishes during November’s National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

(Alexandria, Va) – November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and NHPCO along with hospices across the country are reaching out to help people understand the importance of planning for the care they would want if they were facing a serious or life-limiting illness.

“One of the things that hospice and palliative care professionals hear from families again and again is ‘why didn’t we learn about hospice care earlier,’” said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “The best time to learn about hospice or palliative care is before you are facing a medical crisis and advance care planning is one of the tools to help people think about their wishes.”

Advance care planning involves talking about the care you would and would not want – and then completing an advance directive to document and share those wishes with others. NHPCO’s CaringInfo.org  offers resources to help with these important discussions, including state-specific advance directive forms that can be downloaded free of charge from NHPCO’s CaringInfo.org.

Throughout the month of November, hospice organizations across the nation will be hosting activities that will help the community understand how important hospice and palliative care can be and the value of advance care planning to make one’s wishes known. 

On Friday, November 4, NHPCO is promoting its annual Social Media Day to raise awareness of hospice and palliative care. NHPCO encourages all providers, advocates and supporters to participate by posting photos and messages of support with the hashtags: #HospiceMonth, #hospiceawareness or #hpm.

Hospice and palliative care combines high-quality medical care with the emotional and spiritual support that families need most when facing a serious or terminal illness. Palliative care offers comfort and support earlier in the course of a serious illness. Hospice brings patients and family caregivers high-quality, compassionate care and support when a cure is not possible. Together, palliative care and hospice can help people live each moment of life to the fullest.

NHPCO’s national awareness campaign, Moments of Life: Made Possible by Hospice, offers an additional online resource, the "What Are My Options?" interactive tool designed to provide information that will help guide healthcare choices if a person or a loved one is facing a serious illness... especially if that illness is getting worse. In less than 60 seconds, website visitors will have important answers to help guide decisions.

Both Moments of Life and CaringInfo.org will help people learn more about hospice, palliative care, advance care planning, and what options might be right for you or a loved one.

See NHPCO’s 2016 National Hospice and Palliative Care Month Proclamation.


Materials to help raise awareness are available from NHPCO.

Read NHPCO's Proclamation for National Hospice and Palliative Care Month 2016.

Jon Radulovic
NHPCO, Vice President of Communications
Ph: 703-837-3139