The holidays are a wonderful time to spend with your loved ones and friends, but it can also be a tough time if you recently lost a loved one to serious illness.
November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. Lynn Riker, director of outreach says it is time where we really strive to increase education, awareness, and advocacy about both hospice care and palliative care. She says it’s not a topic that many of us like to think about or want to talk about but I think given the days and times that we live in now, we know we have to think about care if we ourselves become ill or we have a loved one who becomes ill. There are care options for those that have a serious illness or a life limiting illness.
What is the difference between palliative care and hospice care? Lynn says unfortunately people use those terms interchangeably which causes so much confusion, but a couple of things are important to know. She says palliative care and hospice care really focus on quality of life and the management of symptoms in support not only for the individual who is ill but for their loved ones and caregivers. That’s what they both have in common but when you access them, it is different.
Lynn says palliative is for somebody, it doesn’t matter the stage of their illness, it doesn’t matter their age or what the illness is, but it is someone who is struggling with symptoms associated with serious illness.
If somebody needs hospice care it means they have a life limiting or terminal illness, so it is somebody we know is in a later stage of illness and they are seeking quality of life and comfort and often seeking to be at home. Lynn says we are a phone call away or our website has tremendous information.
Emily Carrier, special events manager says all of the funds raised through our annual special events at Hospice and Palliative Care Buffalo stay right here in Western New York to help our patients. So, whether you are in home care or on our campus receiving care, all that money goes toward those patients and their families during a time when they need it most.
Hospice Light a Life ceremony is a holiday tradition and this year they are celebrating it at a new location, on their campus. It is taking place this Saturday, December 4th at Hospice Mitchell Campus at the Wilson Support Center at 5pm. This is an in-person event and it is an outside event where people can spread out, but they are asking that people please wear masks and be vaccinated. But even with these precautions and conditions things could change so please keep an eye out on their website for the most up-to-date information.
Emily says if you are not able to attend the event or you rather just stay home, we are going to be sending the ceremony out in its entirety on Monday, December 6th to our hospice community via email and on social media.
There are different ways you can help. Emily says you can come out and support the event and then we have our bells for sale during this holiday season. The bells are $55 for a handmade porcelain bell. She says the special thing about these is we have volunteers inscribe a loved ones name on it, so again another traditional way to honor a loved one during this holiday season.
For more information on the Light a Life Ceremony go to hospicelightalife.com
For more information on Hospice and Palliative Care Buffalo go to hospicebuffalo.com