Many people equate a conversation about hospice as being told they must give up. However, more than 1 million people across the nation have learned just the opposite. They’ve been touched by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s “Moments of Life: Made Possible by Hospice” campaign since its launch on May 15, 2014. The campaign’s intent is to debunk this myth, and show that hospice focuses on compassionate, person-centered care, which enables special moments and memories at the end of life for patients and loved ones.
As of September 9, 2014, the first Public Service Announcement introducing “Moments of Life” has reached a broadcast audience of 1,186,240, airing on primary stations, such as CBS, ABC, NBC and FOX across the country. The campaign also has reached audiences via social media, advertisements, and various online and print news outlets, educating the nation that hospice is about more than death – it’s also about life.
The second “Moments” national PSA released last week focuses particularly on moments of life with family, experienced by a great-great-great grandmother who chose hospice care.
“We’re using ‘Moments of Life’ to create a movement,” said J. Donald Schumacher, PsyD, president and CEO of NHPCO. “The more people that we reach, the greater our opportunity to show the nation that hospice is the right choice for terminally ill patients and their families.”
The “Moments of Life” awareness campaign features stories from hospices across the United States of patients and families experiencing hospice care first hand. These stories take the form of videos, photos, audio recordings and articles, and offer a vibrant cross-section of different experiences with hospice. They include a veteran’s visit to the WWII Memorial, a grief camp offered for children who’ve lost a loved one, and a great-great-great grandmother enjoying a family picnic. These represent only a handful of the moments made possible by choosing hospice.
It is a common belief that people on hospice care are lying in a bed, waiting to die. However, when patients are admitted into hospice care at an appropriate time, their quality of life can actually improve. Hospice is a team-oriented approach to providing specialized care for people facing a life-limiting illness or injury and includes expert medical care, pain management and emotional support for patients and their families. More simply, hospice care supports living one’s life to the fullest and with dignity, regardless of how much time remains.
“Most people say they would prefer to die in the comfort of their own homes, but many times the last thing people see is the hospital room around them,” said Anita Brikman, senior vice president of strategic communications for NHPCO. “‘Moments of Life’ shows that choosing hospice can give patients the care they need, while also providing them with final moments of joy, peace and comfort.”
For more information, visit the “Moments of Life” website at MomentsOfLife.org.