Saturday, April 13, 2024

Local Governments Proclaim Hospice and Palliative Care Month

WILMINGTON – Lower Cape Fear Hospice recently requested area governments to officially proclaim November as National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. Throughout the month, the cities of Jacksonville, Whiteville and Wilmington, along with Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties, will be presenting proclamations to the local nonprofit during regular government meetings.

“Although November is nationally recognized as Hospice and Palliative Care Month, we wanted area governments to officially to proclaim it as such to raise local awareness about hospice and palliative care,” said Gwen Whitley, LCFH president and CEO. “Too many patients and families access hospice care far too late. Sadly, they never realize the benefit of improved quality of life hospice care offers.”

According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), “nearly 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries receive hospice care for seven days or less, a period considered too short to take full advantage of the many services that the hospice interdisciplinary team offers.”

“We hope the formal proclamations by government leaders will encourage people in southeastern North Carolina to find out the facts about hospice and palliative care, how they differ and when each is appropriate,” Whitley said.  “If they are living with a chronic or life-limiting illness, we encourage them or their loved ones to contact us to help determine if hospice or palliative care is right for them.”

Palliative care is an extra layer of care and support for patients with serious illness (heart and renal disease, diabetes, COPD, cancer and dementia) that offers coordination of care in addition to pain and symptom management.

Hospice care is for patients who have a life expectancy of six months or less, or when curative treatment is no longer desired. Its team approach offers physical, emotional and spiritual support for patients and their families.

“It’s important for everyone to know all their options for care,” added Whitley. “Our mission is to help patients and their families who are facing serious illness to experience the highest quality of life for however long that life may be. Hospice and palliative care can make that possible.”

Lower Cape Fear Hospice is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing the highest level of care and comfort to patients with life-limiting illness; support and counseling to families; and education to the community. For more information, visit

Submitted by Sally Shepherd

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