November was National Home Care and Hospice Month , making it a great time to pause in thankfulness of the work these agencies perform daily for patients in the United States. Both home health care and hospice agencies are able to provide important services to patients in their own home, often helping individuals to avoid having to enter a nursing or rehab facility and rather enjoy the comfort of their own setting.

Hospices provide services to patients who are nearing the end of life and have discontinued treatments that are no longer effective or desired. According to the CDC, more than 4000 hospice agencies partner with private individuals as well as hospitals and nursing homes to enable patients to die with dignity. At any given time more than 1.3 million patients receive the services of a hospice agency. Those services can range from visits every few days to round-the-clock care. Hospices seek to make patients comfortable in their desired setting, heightening pain management philosophies and supporting decisions private to each individual.

Home health care organizations enable patients to receive both the equipment and services they need due to aging, an accident, an injury or other events like major surgery. The CDC reports that 12,400 home health agencies serve more than 4.9 million Americans. The products home health organizations can provide range from those that enable activities of daily live to wound care and mobility supplies. These organizations ensure that the exact supplies needed and ordered by doctors arrive at the patient’s doorstep promptly.

Agencies that send qualified workers and necessary medical supplies to patients’ homes enable them to age, convalesce or approach the end of life in their most preferred setting. Without those services, these patients might have no choice but to enter a skilled nursing facility. Although those facilities ably serve many patients, they might not be the right option for all patients. National Home Care and Hospice Month recognizes the great work and products offered by these organizations to give an additional choice to patients and their families for the care they will be offered and the equipment they need on a daily basis.

Many patients are eligible for the services and supplies offered by these organizations, which often become available as soon as a doctor writes an order. Most private insurances cover this, as do Medicare and Medicaid under certain circumstances. Patients can discuss their concerns with their preferred healthcare provider to gain access to what they need.