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Let’s kick off National Hospice Month in November with “Bells for Hospice”

(Services) Permanent link

The following is a letter to the editor written by Marianne Berghefer, hospice volunteer and bereavement coordinator at Portage Health Hospice. 

To the editor:

With the calendar flipping to November shortly, it’s once again time to recognize National Hospice Month.

Hospice care is considered to be the model for quality and compassionate end-of-life treatment. Hospice involves a team-oriented approach of expert medical care, pain management, emotional, spiritual and bereavement support expressly tailored to the patient’s wishes.

Hospice care is provided in the patient’s home, a nursing facility or an adult foster care home such as Omega House. Healthcare professionals who specialize in hospice care work closely with staff and volunteers to address all the symptoms of the terminal illness, with the aim of promoting comfort and dignity. Emotional, spiritual and bereavement support is also extended to families for 13 months after the death of their loved one.

On November 1, at noon, hospice and palliative care agencies across the state will be ringing bells in honor of all who have died under hospice care during the last year, and also in respect for their families and loved ones. We hope you will join us this year in ringing a bell at your home, office or wherever you happen to be at noon as we honor those who have passed in hospice.

Sincerely,

Marianne Berghefer, Hospice Volunteer & Bereavement Coordinator

Saturday is National Drug Take Back Day

(Events) Permanent link

 

Safely dispose of your unwanted medication at MSP Post in Calumet from 10 – 2

 

On October 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Michigan State Police post in Calumet, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its seventh opportunity in three years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for disposal to the Michigan State Police Post in Calumet. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

National Drug Takeback Day 2013Last April, Americans turned in 371 tons (over 742,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at over 5,800 sites operated by the DEA, and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners.  In its six previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 2.8 million pounds—more than 1,400 tons — of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — pose potential safety and health hazards.

DEA is in the process of approving new regulations that implement the Safe and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” (that is, a patient or pet or their family member or owner) of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances.

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