“Home, Sweet Home.” “East or West, home’s the best.” “Home is where the heart is.”

Home. It’s a cherished concept that spans the ages, stirring up memories of warmth and caring for most of us. And it’s a welcomed reality for the 1,400 people with advanced, life-limiting illnesses whom Capital Caring Health (CCH) sees each and every day – right in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes.

So in conjunction with November’s National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, Capital Caring Health is launching “No Place Like Home,” a community education campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of both forms of care.

First, it’s important to note that hospice is not so much a place, as an approach.

Hospice brings care to you, rather than you having to go find the care you need. In fact, more than 95 percent of CCH’s palliative care and hospice patients are cared for where they live, whether that’s an assisted living community, a skilled nursing facility, or—more often than not—their very own homes.

Secondly, advanced illness (palliative) care and hospice care are highly specialized, recognized medical disciplines. A dedicated, interdisciplinary team of nurses, social workers, physicians and other healthcare professionals coordinate all the services you need from diagnosis to treatment to monitoring. We focus on relieving the symptoms, pain, stress and other burdens of advanced illness, keeping you comfortable, out of the hospital and at home. Furthermore, you may also ask your regular doctor or nurse practitioner to partner with us as your primary attending medical supervisor. The choice is yours.

Third, anyone suffering from a chronic, progressive disease can receive advanced illness care, at any point during treatment, at any age. Our team of medical specialists can help you get relief from pain and other symptoms even while your personal doctors work to treat or cure your disease. We care for anyone who needs our unique services, from infants to the elderly.

And lastly, advanced illness care and hospice care are two different stops along a disease’s progression. If you or doctors decide that curative treatment is no longer effective or desirable, you can count on us to remain with you as you transition from palliative to hospice care. Either way, our goal is the same: to help you live your fullest life possible and improve quality of life for both you and your family.

As part of the “No Place Like Home” campaign, Capital Caring Health is also extending the benefits of our care and services to even more individuals throughout our area. First on the list are the growing numbers of seniors throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

By 2035, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that older adults will outnumber children under the age of 18 by approximately 2 million. Moreover, estimates suggest that even today’s seniors have many unmet healthcare needs, particularly those who are home-limited due to disability, illness or transportation issues.

CCH is evolving to keep pace with these changing needs. This December, we’re launching a new Primary Care at Home (PCH) program designed for older individuals who may have trouble getting out to get the care they need. As such, the program features a comprehensive team focused on person-centered primary and urgent care as well as social support. The goal is to help seniors stabilize and maintain their health, control chronic conditions, stay out of the ER and hospital…and remain in the comfort, familiarity and security of their own homes for as long as possible.

The first phase of the PCH program will debut in select zip codes in Chevy Chase, Maryland; Northwest, D.C.; and Fairfax/Arlington, Virginia. Additional neighborhoods will be added at a future date.

A companion program will give home-limited individuals extra options to help with non-medical needs. Through Stay-at-Home Services, a menu of offerings —ranging from housekeeping and meal delivery to transportation and pet care—will help individuals with advanced illness, chronic disease or disability get the assistance they need, with only one phone call.

Other specialty programs also have expanded scopes of services, including:

  • Veteran’s Health and Support Services, to help military veterans with advanced illness access the key benefits and services they earned, and help improve their quality of life by partnering with vet volunteers.
  • An enhanced Children’s Hospice and Palliative Care program to deliver an even greater level of care and services to patients and families, through a new partnership with Children’s National Medical Center.
  • Pet Therapy and Care with specially trained dogs to help bereaved children and adults with communication problems, and pet care volunteers so patients and their beloved furry or feathered family members may remain together, at home.

All in all, the new and expanded offerings will let us help even more individuals maintain health and independence, peace of mind and quality of life in their own homes, even as they deal with aging or advanced illness, disease or disability. It’s been part of our mission since first opening our doors in 1977, and remains integral to everything we do.

“There’s no place like home.” We couldn’t agree more.