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November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, and it’s the perfect time to raise awareness about how Islands Hospice cares for those with life-limiting illnesses. HI Now host Kanoe Gibson spoke with Director of Community Outreach Sean Reeks to learn more.
“I’ve met with hundreds and hundreds of families over the course of my career in hospice, and there are a couple of ‘myths’ or misconceptions that tend to arise frequently,” he begins. “The first myth is that hospice is a place. The reality is that hospice is a service that can be provided wherever a person lives — assisted living, nursing home, residential care home, foster home, or one’s private residence. Most of our patients are receiving services in their very own homes.”
Reeks says a second myth is that hospice services are costly, when the reality is that Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurances cover 100 percent of services.
“Services come at no cost to patients and families, which I know is relevant now more than ever with the increased financial burdens that many families are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he adds.
Islands Hospice has remained open and fully operational throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It continues to provide essential health services to its patients and families wherever they call home. Islands Hospice, as most health care provides, have also implemented COVID-19 policies in accordance with CDC guidelines. In particular, the staff there are utilizing PPE (personal protective equipment) to ensure the absolute safety of its staff, patients, their families, and the entire community.
“I’ve read multiple articles and studies lately that say the rates of depression, anxiety, and stress have increased exponentially during this pandemic. No doubt, caring for a loved one with declining health could potentially be a contributing factor to stress, and this is the case not during a pandemic as well — but you don’t have to ‘go at it’ alone,” Reeks says. “If you’re sitting at home right now with a loved one and they are sleeping more, eating less, and experiencing unplanned weight loss — maybe we can help.”
If you want to learn more, you can call Islands Hospice at (808) 550-2552 or visit online at islandshospice.com.