Hospice and Palliative Care in New York is a subject that can raise a  lot of questions and anxiety,  largely because they are so widely misunderstood.

This fantastic article explains the differences between hospice and palliative care in New York and beyond. I worked with hospice and palliative care workers extensively, both as a funeral director and as a volunteer at  Francis House when I was studying for my grief counseling degree. I even interviewed a woman who was both  a midwife and a hospice nurse.

By far, one of the biggest sources of frustration I found among those in hospice is that patients and their families wait too long to get hospice involved. There are myriad things hospice and palliative care nurses in New York can do, all of which are aimed at helping the patient live better and more fully in the time they have.  Frequently that includes unique forms of pain management so patients remain as lucid as possible, and sometimes it involves intense therapy, spiritual guidance and antidepressants so patients  can effectively deal with their emotions.  However, when hospice and palliative care is not called in until the last minute, frequently only a few days before the death, there simply isn’t enough time for them to do the many wonderful things for families that they can do.

The palliative care portion of hospice and palliative care is frequently misunderstood- it’s simply finding ways to make the patient comfortable, regardless of whether they are dying or not.

And yes, medicaid does help cover the cost of hospice and palliative care in New York.

Many people who have used hospice and palliative care in New York will tell you they can do just as much -if not more- for the family as for patient. Death after an illness is something we often experience together as a family,  and hospice nurses care for everyone.

Hospice is not a dirty work, and neither is palliative care. It doesn’t mean you’re giving up. Take the time to research hospice and palliative care in New York and in your area- I can assure you it will be worth it.