November marks both National Home Care and Hospice Month and National Home Care Aide Week. VNA is proud to recognize the certified nursing assistants (CNA’s) and home health aides (HHA’s) whose compassionate care improves the lives of their patients, caregivers and family members. Because each patient’s plan of care is unique, responsibilities could include assistance with bathing and hygiene, activities of daily living, helping with exercises or walking, light housekeeping or companionship. Dana Smith, CNA, explains how hospice care has impacted her life, “By working in hospice, I’m more in tune with a person’s well-being. I am better at taking care of my patients and families because of that.”
A vital aspect of the job is teaching caregivers and families what they need to know so they can manage at home. It could be showing a caregiver how to change a bed, teaching a family member how to help their loved one get dressed or teaching proper oral care. Those who serve in hospice are empathetic listeners assisting with tasks to make life as easy as possible for the patient, the caregiver and the family. Dana will tell you, sometimes you have to take a different approach when someone can’t do something for themselves. “It’s about understanding the person, knowing what they can and can’t do. It’s about giving a patient time to do what they can for themselves and being there to help when needed.”
In honor of National Home Care and Hospice Month and National Home Health Aide Week, VNA wishes to extend a gracious thank you to our associates and the millions of men and women who are devoted to providing compassionate care with dignity, who help patients, caregivers and families during their end-of-life journey. Those who choose to serve in hospice know what’s most important, a relationship based on mutual trust and respect. At the end of the day, serving in hospice is about being present in the moment, being supportive and doing what’s needed to help make life a little easier for patients, caregivers and family members.