Erin Nortonen: Not hospice

May 3, 2013 

Not hospice

Thank you for the informative April 13 article regarding palliative care options.

The palliative care term is often incorrectly translated into hospice care, which is very unfortunate because so many patients who could benefit from palliative care don’t realize the holistic medical support and care that comes with the discipline.

Some of our area hospitals, Duke among them, have offered in-patient palliative care for several years. Until now, none of them has ventured into a community-based program. Horizons Palliative Care, a service of Hospice of Wake County, has provided that service since 2004.

Horizons Palliative Care began under the direction of Dr. Ned Yellig, one of the first physicians to become a board-certified palliative care physician. And it continues today to serve patients and families who are struggling with pain management and difficult diagnosis and managing side effects of medications. As time goes by, I hope more people understand what palliative care is and what it is not.

Erin Nortonen

Certified geriatric care manager

Cary

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