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Bentonville Non-Profit Hopes to Dispel Hospice Misconceptions

BENTONVILLE, AR-- Bentonville Mayor Bob McCaslin was on hand Thursday to observe National Hospice Month at Circle of Life.
BENTONVILLE, AR-- Bentonville Mayor Bob McCaslin was on hand Thursday to observe National Hospice Month at Circle of Life.

In honor of National Hospice Month, the organization hosted the Mayor McCaslin as he presented a Mayoral Proclamation declaring November as National Hospice and Palliative Care Month in Northwest Arkansas.

Earlier this month, Governor Mike Beebe issued a statewide National Hospice Month Proclamation.

According to Circle of Life, in 2011 over a million Americans and almost 12,000 Arkansas residents received hospice care. Organizers for Circle of Life will be launching a community education campaign for National Hospice Month, hoping to dispel some of the confusion.

In a press release, the tackled some of their most frequently ake questions:

So what exactly is hospice? How does one get hospice care? How much does hospice cost?

Hospice provides care for those facing a life-limiting, terminal illness. When an individual has a prognosis of six months or less, it is time to consider hospice. Hospice care focuses on quality of life and comfort for the patient and their family when a cure is no longer possible. “Choosing hospice care is not giving up on life” says Dr. Terry Sutterfield, Chief Medical Director for Circle of Life, “We always have hope until the very end but the focus is on caring, not curing.”

To qualify for hospice a patient must meet the Medicare guideline of being in the last six months of life, if the disease follows its normal course. Generally, hospice is covered under Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance with little or no out-of-pocket expense. The hospice benefit includes durable medical equipment – the devices and equipment needed to keep patients comfortable—such as a hospital bed, walker, oxygen supply, disposable supplies and all drugs related to the hospice diagnosis.

Hospice patients are served by an interdisciplinary team, comprised of a nurse, social worker, aide, chaplain, volunteer and physician—whose collective skills provide dignified and compassionate end-of-life care. Mary McKinney sees hospice as a choice to live each day to the fullest.
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