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Tue, Oct 10th 2017 10:00 am
World Hospice and Palliative Care Day is Saturday, October 14. It is recognized as a unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world. The Niagara Falls Illumination Board has approved a request from Niagara Hospice to illuminate Niagara Falls Saturday with Niagara Hospice colors of teal and yellow. The Falls will be illuminated at 10:00pm for a fifteen minute duration. The Niagara Falls Illumination Board noted that all Illumination times are approximate and subject to change according to light conditions.

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month in the US, but World Hospice & Palliative Care Day is recognized around the world. Because it is an internationally recognized date, the Falls will be illuminated to designate the importance of hospice care throughout the world.

The word "hospice" stems from the Latin word "hospitium" meaning guesthouse. It was originally used to describe a place of shelter for weary and sick travelers returning from religious pilgrimages. During the 1960's, British physician Dr. Cicely Saunders began the modern hospice movement by establishing St. Christopher's Hospice near London. St. Christopher's organized a team approach to professional caregiving, and was the first program to use modern pain management techniques to compassionately care for the dying. The first hospice in the United States was established in New Haven, Connecticut in 1974. Today there are more than 4,200 hospice programs in the United States including Puerto Rico and Guam. Hospice programs cared for over 1,007,700 people in the United States in 2015 alone.

Niagara Hospice began its grassroots movement in the fall of 1980 when Rev. Bob Cook of the Town of Tonawanda gathered a group of concerned citizens to discuss the feasibility of developing a hospice program for Niagara County. The first Board of Directors was formed in 1984, at which time the organization became incorporated as an Educational Association. In 1986, a Certificate of Need was presented to the NYSDOH (New York State Department of Health) by then board President Patricia Evans and in 1988 Niagara Hospice was licensed to serve its first patients.

Learn more about World Hospice and Palliative Care Day at www.thewhpca.org.

Niagara Hospice has served over 25,000 Niagara County residents and their families since 1988. Hospice is specialized care for the terminally ill. Niagara Hospice provides supportive services to both the patient and family - providing more comfort, dignity and choice. For more information, call 439-4417 or visit www.NiagaraHospice.org.


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