The NHPCO recognizes National Hospice and Palliative Care Month
November is recognized annually as National Hospice and Palliative Care Month (HAPCM), a time for providers to reach out to their local communities, engage media contacts, and recognize the valuable contributions made by staff and volunteers. While HAPCM is a brief window of time meant to spotlight the importance of hospice and palliative care, helping the public understand the benefit of this type of serious-illness care and the importance of advance care planning are goals which our community should strive for year-round.
Each year, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), establishes a theme for the month and creates outreach materials for members. The theme for HAPCM 2023 is Courageous Conversations.
In a culture that often teaches us to resist mortality and a healthcare system defined by , the seemingly simple act of having a conversation about dying can have a profound impact. What does death mean in my life? If I am faced with a terminal diagnosis, how would my values shape my end-of-life journey? How do I want my loved ones to engage with me toward the end of my life? It’s difficult to think about these questions but having these courageous conversations with ourselves, family, friends, and doctors can mean the difference between having the type of death a patient wants – one that matches up with their values and desires – and one that doesn’t allow them to have a say in their own end-of-life journey.
Throughout the month, NHPCO is encouraging everyone to have these Courageous Conversations to start a meaningful dialogue on “dying a good death.”