State Sen. Steve Livingston and Rainsville Mayor Rodger Lingerfelt joined with the ABC Hospice team on Wednesday to proclaim and celebrate November as Hospice and Palliative Care Month.

Livingston, representative of DeKalb, Jackson and Madison counties, presented ABC Hospice with a resolution from the State of Alabama and State of Alabama House of Representatives Resolution H1R115 in observance of National Hospice and Palliative Care Month.

The area-wide proclamation encourages citizens to learn more about their options for care that meets the medical, emotional and spiritual needs of loved ones.

Livingston shared his personal experience with hospice during his wife’s battle with cancer in 2014.

“I can tell you that hospice was key in the role they played. It’s near and dear to me, so I appreciate what yall are doing,” he said. “We are very appreciative of what hospice does. It’s a blessing.”

Echoing Livingston, Lingerfelt said hospice has always been great to come in and help make things better for the patients and their families, providing support and care.

He said the Rainsville City Council was “tickled” to present ABC Hospice with a proclamation during last Monday council meeting.

ABC Hospice Community Relations Manager Dana Hampton said hospice is so much more than what people think in the communities, the stigma and myths when you hear the word hospice.

“Hospice is about living, taking each day and bringing quality, peace and comfort,” she said. “It’s truly so much more than taken care of a dying patient.”

ABC Hospice Clinical Manager Sherry Carter said hospice care is no longer just in the last few weeks of life. Some who receive hospice care live longer.

Hampton said their team at ABC Hospice strives each day to provide quality care, to bring peace and comfort to every patient and their loved ones.

“So many people ask ‘Why and how do you do it?’” I know for me, and for many if not all our team would agree that it’s a calling,” she said. “We get one chance to make the dying process be the best it possibly can be.”

Hampton emphasized the importance of hospice care not only because it allows patients to have their symptoms managed by providing medications, supplies and durable medical equipment, but also by enabling patients to be at home surrounded by their loved ones.

“Dying with comfort and dignity is truly important,” she said.

Educating yourself on what hospice is about, what they can do and provide for your family in a time of need makes a difference.

“If you have a loved one that is facing a life-limiting illness, it’s never too early to educate yourself about it,” Hampton said. “Don’t let the fear of the word hospice and the myths prevent you from getting the proper and best healthcare you can receive to help with a loved one that is facing their last days.”

She encourages people to reach out, ask around and, most importantly, know there is help for them right at home.

ABC Hospice is now part of the Alleo Health System, serving 29 counties in Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia, Western North Carolina and Northeast Alabama.

“We are now a not-for-profit hospice committed to family-focused care with the same quality care and people,” said Hampton.

Hospice care is provided by a team of experts that includes physicians, nurses, certified hospice aides, social workers, chaplain, grief counselor and volunteers.

Hampton said hospice is not about giving up on life but rather making the most of the time left by minimizing pain and maximizing comfort.

ABC Hospice serves Cherokee, DeKalb, Etowah, Jackson, Madison and Marshall Counties in Southeast Alabama. Their mission is to take the time to listen, honor your choices, and walk with you through life’s journey.

Hospice care can be provided at the following places:

• Patient home

• Nursing home

• Assisted living center

• Hospital

• Hospital care center staff solely by hospice professionals

If you have questions about hospice care or exploring your options, call ABC Hospice at 256-638-1516 or toll-free at 877-671-0041.

ABC Hospice is located at 266 Industrial Drive Rainsville, AL 35986. For regular updates, follow them on Facebook at ABCHospiceInc.

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