be-1357825_640In a new video released by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s “Moments of Life: Made Possible by Hospice” campaign, viewers meet Gloria, an 85 year-old former schoolteacher from Pueblo, Colorado.  Gloria suffers from COPD, a condition that confines her to her home and makes it extremely difficult to breathe.  Her Sangre de Cristo Hospice care team organized a special event for Gloria to honor her love of culture, music, dance, and prayer featuring Grupo Xochitl dance troop.

“Hospice is so much more,” says Talonna Martinez, social worker at Sangre de Cristo Hospice. “It is about connecting with people – living – not dying.  It’s about creating memories for patients and their families and their children.  It’s a beautiful thing.”

Gloria’s care team honors her Latino heritage as well.  One of Gloria’s caregivers, Carolina, is bilingual and speaks Spanish with Gloria during her visits.  Carolina helps Gloria with her baths and showers.   Having a caregiver who can speak to the patient in their native tongue can add ease to a situation that can be very stressful and uncomfortable.

“We are thrilled to release this video that showcases the benefits hospice can provide to all communities including the Latino population,” says NHPCO President and CEO, J. Donald Schumacher.  “Many hospice providers serve diverse populations and it’s essential to understand each community’s end-of-life cultural believes and attitudes.”

According to Tarrah Schreiner, chief executive officer at Sangre de Cristo Hospice, many people on the team can speak Spanish. Southern Colorado has a large Latino population and the organization services several Latino families like Gloria’s.

National Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15 to October 15.   To support the work of hospice providers that service Latino communities, NHPCO’s Latino Outreach Guide is available online, free of charge. The Guide outlines key principles and insights to help hospices better serve this diverse community.

Gloria’s video is part of the “Moments of Life” public awareness campaign launched by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in 2014.  The campaign features stories from hospices and palliative care programs across the United States of patients and families experiencing hospice and palliative care first hand.

Now watch and enjoy!

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