NEWPORT—Two new programs being offered by Smoky Mountain Home Health & Hospice will help educate patients and their families on palliative care and end of life planning and preparedness.

“It’s not something any of us like to think about, but it’s necessary,” said SMHH&H Social Media Marketing Director Jesse Ramsey.

A necessary planning that Ramsey says helps lessen the patient’s anxiety and brings a certain quality of life in an often grim situation.

The new education series will be shown live on the center’s Facebook page every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 11:30 a.m.

The current series began in December and will run throughout February. This initial series is focused on the question, “What is Hospice?”

The four-part series showcases several local physicians training in self wound care, administering pain medications through hospice, curative versus comfort and the patients serviced by hospice.

“Education is the heart of Smoky Mountain Home Health. It’s key to our care. To educate patients about their disease process helps them not get blindsided by it all,” Ramsey said.

At the end of each series there will be a live physician panel discussion featuring hospice physicians and professionals discussing the importance of end of life planning.

This panel discussion will take place in Knoxville some time in March.

The Impact of Social Work

The live social media series will introduce its second initiative on March 24 on the role of social workers through the hospice process and will feature veteran to veteran volunteerism in honor of past service members.

Further into the year are plans for a four-part series on diabetes and a veteran war time diseases education session will follow. Social workers play a huge role in assisting the patient and family with caregiver concerns, advanced directives, community resources and conflicts with moral decisions.

Steps to Comfort

Palliative Care is a new type of medical speciality throughout the country and is now being offered at Smoky Mountain Home Health as well.

This type of care can begin as soon as a diagnosis is made and can continue throughout treatment. The patient centered approach is geared more toward patient priorities and alleviating symptoms of the disease such as nausea, insomnia, fatigue, depression or anxiety.

Chaplains and social workers also work to form a support network to begin educating the family and patient of what is to be expected from a grief standpoint or estate planning.

Anyone looking for more information on the live web series or the new Palliative Care Program can call 423-623-0233.

Also follow the series live on the Smoky Mountain Home Health & Hospice Facebook page every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 11:30 a.m.

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