What My Hospice means is different to each individual and family we serve. For Next Generation Leaders, like Ryan, it means investing in the development of young leaders who will continue to support Medicare’s first coordinated care model and protect the Medicare Hospice Benefit.

NHPCO’s Next Generation Leadership Council provides an opportunity for young leaders to help shape hospice and palliative care policy in a myriad of ways, including sharing what My Hospice means to them.

Here is council member Ryan Klaustermeier’s take on the My Hospice campaign:

I am a nurse, and My Hospice is founded in a few of the principles of nursing: autonomy, beneficence, and justice.

All of these are important, but for me, autonomy is the most important. To me, this means the ability to choose the care, treatments, and medications do or do not want. Either way, it’s your choice, your experience, your journey.

Autonomy in the end-of-life journey starts with choosing the hospice that is best for you. I believe that more choice creates more autonomy and liberation in the end-of-life journey. My Hospice, my choice.

I am frequently asked this question “Where is your hospice?” This question comes from all sorts of people, including many health care providers in every discipline. This question concerns me. It leaves me with the impression that many people continue to think that hospice is a place. My Hospice is not a place.

My Hospice is a philosophy of care that surrounds an individual, her family, and her friends with expertise, support, guidance, and resources to enrich each of her remaining days; provided anywhere the individual calls home. My Hospice is about meeting people where they are at, not where we think they should be; figuratively and literally. It is their journey, not ours

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization website informs that the term hospice shares the same linguistic root as hospitality. The word hospitality has many synonyms; my favorites are warmth and kindness. One of the definitions of hospice that Merriam-Webster.com offers is “lodging for travelers…” So, to me, hospice is about providing warmth and kindness to travelers, the travelers of life who are nearing the end of their journey, travelers who need shelter. In providing them hospice and hospitality we are not only providing expert care, but providing a shelter of love, warmth, kindness, and support. None of which requires a dwelling. My Hospice can be anywhere.

We invite you to keep promoting the power of hospice by joining the My Hospice campaign. Please consider sharing this post with your family and friends on Facebook and Twitter, or share your My Hospice story with us.