Barbara Palmer to explain benefits of hospice carePosted November 12, 2012 at 4:59 PM, Filed Under: Community News, Front Page, Village Mill
By Lou Seminare
BRMC Club Correspondent
“You matter because of who you are. You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die.”
— Dame Cicely Saunders
At St. Christopher’s Hospice in London, Dame Cicely Saunders first applied the term “hospice” in 1967 to specialized care for dying patients. Hospice care today provides humane and compassionate care for those in the final phases of incurable disease, so that they may live as comfortably and fully as possible.
The hospice philosophy accepts death as the final stage of life, and the goal of hospice is to enable patients to continue an alert, pain-free life and to manage other symptoms so that their last days may be spent with dignity and quality, surrounded by their loved ones. Treating the person, rather than the disease, hospice neither hastens nor postpones death, but focuses on the quality of the life remaining.
Care is provided for the patient and family 24 hours a day, either in the patient’s home, a hospital, a nursing home or a private hospice facility, with an interdisciplinary health care team managing the process. Doctors, nurses, counselors, social workers, clergy and therapists, among other specialists, together provide palliative care to relieve symptoms, to give spiritual and emotional support, and to control pain so as to achieve a level of comfort for the patient.
In addition to pain and symptom control for the patient, hospice also provides respite care for the family and caregivers. The hospice care team also works with surviving family members, helping them through the bereavement period following the loss.
Barbara Palmer will be the special guest speaker at the December 6 meeting of the Brandermill Region Men’s Club. Palmer has been the volunteer coordinator for Bon Secours Hospice for more than four years. Included in her duties is management of the recruitment, training and retention programs. She served as an AmeriCorps/VISTA volunteer during her last three years at Virginia Commonwealth University while she earned a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree. Palmer currently serves as the chairperson for the Greater Richmond Area Volunteer Administration, a nonprofit membership group. Palmer’s presentation, assisted by Al Hallatt, a 12-year volunteer who visits homebound patients, will explain the many services and benefits of hospice care.
Dame Cicely Saunders reasoned that: “How people die remains in the memory of those who live on.”
The Brandermill Region Men’s Club holds its monthly meetings at 10 a.m., on the first Thursday of each month, September through June, in The Brandermill Church.