Patient and Family Advisors Teach About Hospice Services

To many, the word “hospice” has negative connotations, such as giving up. Hospice services are so much more than bedside medical attention. A patient and his/her family get a team of people whose desire is to give quality of life to that patient. It’s not about dying, it’s about living the best life ’til the very end! The caring professionals on every patient’s hospice team provide practical support and help families navigate the difficult decisions they face. The Duke Homecare & Hospice PFAC (Patient Family Advisory Council) decided to address the need to increase awareness of hospice  services and misconceptions of what hospice is.

Last year the Duke Homecare & Hospice PFAC began participating with Development staff in programs describing hospice services at community centers, active-55 communities, and senior living communities. After learning that nationally fully one-third of all hospice patients take advantage of these services for only a week or less and another one-third for less than a month, the PFAC embarked on a mission to help get the word out to area communities.

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the PFAC had to revamp its in-person format and construct a virtual session using Zoom to accomplish its goal. They did so, and the result is getting rave reviews from participants. In a one-hour session, a panel of three educates the audience about the many services that hospice offers and answers questions. The panel covers the need for care, what the services are, financial considerations, and the roles of the hospice team members that are available to every patient and family. Recent appearances have included senior communities as well as programs through Duke’s OLLI program and the Durham County Library.

If you or your community are interested in scheduling a session, please contact Kellie Brockman at or call 919.620.3853.