During November, the home care and hospice community honor the millions of nurses, home care aides, therapists, and social workers who make a remarkable difference for the patients and families they serve. These heroic caregivers play a central role in our health care system and in homes across the nation. To recognize their efforts, Cornerstone VNA is pleased to join Home Care, Hospice & Palliative Care Alliance of New Hampshire and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) in celebrating November as Home Care and Hospice Month.
With 10 thousand Americans turning 65 every day, the need for health care will continue to rise, and costs will continue to skyrocket. This is where home care comes in. As the preferred choice for most patients, it also offers the greatest cost savings. For example, Medicare pays nearly $2,000 per day for a typical hospital stay and $450 per day for a typical nursing home stay. Meanwhile, home care costs less than $100 a day and helps many U.S. seniors remain independent at home, enrich their lives, and keep in touch with those they love.
“It is highly appropriate in November that we celebrate the nurses, therapists, aides, and other providers who choose to use their lives to serve our country’s aged, disabled, and dying. No work is nobler, and no group is more deserving of our respect and admiration.” – Val J. Halamandaris, former NAHC President
Celebrating National Hospice and Home Care Workers
In 2007, Val Halamandaris, Editor and Publisher of CARING and former president of NAHC, wrote an excellent article celebrating Hospice and Home Care workers. More than ten years after this article was published, these sentiments still ring true today. Several excerpts from Halamandaris’ article are included below.
I am proud of the fact that most people understand what hospice is about today. This is a far cry from 1972 when I produced the first U.S. Senate hearings on hospice and helped write the first legislation to cover hospice under Medicare. There was at that time a fair amount of confusion. The New York Times, for example, went so far as to blast the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging in an editorial on the grounds that we were pushing euthanasia.
[Over the years], hospice has come to be associated with life and not with death. Death, which gives life its definition, has come to be viewed as a normal part of life rather than as a failure of the medical establishment. Those near the end of life and their families have learned that they have options. They can take control over their final days on earth and choose how and where to spend them. They have the option to remain at home where most of us would prefer to be well or sick or to remain in a hospital or institutional setting.
November is National Home Care and Hospice Month. This gives us the opportunity to say thank you to the thousands of hospice workers who care for those at the end of life. It also gives us the opportunity to thank their counterparts who work in home care helping Americans with infirmities and disabilities, to function at home with a maximum of human dignity. Home care and hospice nurses are the very personification of caring, which Mother Teresa said was the one word summary of the Golden Rule. “Caring is love in action,” she said.
Celebrating 105 Years of Care at Home
Cornerstone VNA, a nonprofit home health and hospice organization, was founded 105 years ago and continues to honor and celebrate a long history of providing care at home. In 1913, a visionary woman by the name of Norma Snow made her dream of caring for others a reality with the establishment of the Visiting Nurse Association. Thanks to her leadership as president of the Rochester Women’s Club, and with support from the Ladies Aide of the First Church Congregational, Cornerstone VNA was founded to provide medical care to local community members in the comfort of their home. Today, Norma’s passion for helping others continues to inspire us as we advance our mission of providing high quality patient care, clinical excellence and advanced technology. Currently serving 38 communities in New Hampshire and Maine, Cornerstone VNA has over 160 professional and clinical staff who provide care to over 3,000 patients each year through five distinct programs: Home Care, Hospice Care, Palliative Care, Life Care-Private Duty, and Community Care.
Celebrating the Power of Caring
National Home Care and Hospice Month is an opportunity to celebrate the power of caring and recognize the many caregivers who share both a passion for helping others and their clinical expertise to provide the best care to the patients and families they serve. Nurses, home care aides, therapists, social workers, and volunteers work together every single day to make a difference in the lives of others.
The Home Care, Hospice & Palliative Care Alliance of New Hampshire knows it’s the people working in home care that make it such a special setting to receive quality, compassionate health care. In recognition of National Home Care and Hospice Month, the Alliance is celebrating professional caregivers with their 2nd Annual “Share Your Story” campaign and is asking professionals to reflect on the moment they knew that this type of work was right for them.
Stacey Gray RN, BSN, WCC, OMS, Home Care Team Manager at Cornerstone VNA, shares her story about working in Home Care. “I realized home care was what I wanted to do when I discovered I could make a difference in my patient’s lives. I directly have the ability to help keep them in the comfort of their own home and that is what nursing is all about.” Kelly Doherty RN-C, MSN, ARNP-BC, Hospice and Palliative Care Director at Cornerstone VNA adds, “I knew from an early age that I wanted to care for people at the end of life. I have had the honor and privilege to care for patients and families since 1996. There is nothing that I would rather do.”
The dedicated team at Cornerstone VNA continues to support and deliver trusted, compassionate and expert health care, which is at the core of our mission. Our clinicians are responsible to not only ensure quality care, but also to educate patients, their families and the community on how to achieve and maintain optimal health.
At Cornerstone VNA, it is an honor to be trusted with providing home health and hospice care to the residents in the communities we serve. We appreciate the opportunity to provide care, wherever a patient calls home, and will continue our efforts to always provide the highest quality health care our community deserves. As we celebrate Home Care and Hospice Month, we would like to express our appreciation to our professional caregivers and volunteers as well as our local businesses, foundations and individuals who generously support our programs and services throughout the year.
For more information about the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, Home Care & Hospice Month, and Home Care Aide Week (November 14-20, 2018), visit NAHC.org.
To learn more about Cornerstone VNA, contact us today.