November is National Home Care and Hospice Month

TR Staff
Staff Writer

By Ellie Boese
My grandma moved into a Hospice care facility late in 2012 after a summer diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS. It’s also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, named for a New York Yankees player who died in 1939, two years after his own ALS diagnosis.
Hospice provided my grandma with a level of care my family was unable to offer, and the nurses and staff also helped us come to terms with the situation and take advantage of the time we had left.
There are about 4,000 hospice agencies nationwide serving over 1.3 million patients.
In our area, Hospice of the Red River Valley provides service to 29 counties in Minnesota and North Dakota, with 282 patients on average benefitting from their services every day.
HRRV opened its office in Valley City in July of 1998, 17 years after the organization served its very first patient out of its Fargo office. A January 1998 press release issued after the decision was made to open a Valley City facility said this: “Following an invitation from concerned members of the Valley City community, HRRV engaged in a needs assessment and feasibility study to determine the viability of a site operation from that community to encompass all of Barnes County. That study…identified that all components needed to put a hospice program in place were available.” That facility celebrates its 20th year of operation this year.
HRRV offers many services, including overseeing of care plans, providing expertise in pain and symptom management, helping with personal care needs, providing emotional support for patients and friends and family, offering spiritual support, and much more. Nurses, CNA’s, Social workers, chaplains, volunteers, doctors, and grief support specialists collaborate to provide the highest quality of care.
Each November, National Home Care and Hospice Month, the nation makes an effort to seek a better understanding of hospice care while recognizing the power of caring and those who dedicate their lives to those needing end-of-life or palliative care.
My grandma died in early 2013 in a hospice care facility. Those who helped her perform tasks she no longer could, cared for her, kept her comfortable, prayed and offered us words of comfort and understanding somehow kept the world from collapsing. And they do it every day.