Marquette County rings bells for Hospice and Palliative Care Month

MARQUETTE — November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. All across the country at noon on November 1, church bells ring in remembrance of all those who have passed away while under hospice care and as a show of respect for their families.

To kick off the month here in Marquette, U.P. Home Health & Hospice came together with Lake Superior Life Care & Hospice for a bell–ringing event at the Marquette Commons. When the local church bells began to ring at 12:00, the Superior Handbell Choir, hospice workers, family, and friends rang handbells in memory of those they’ve lost.

Hospice professionals also hope that the bell–ringing will help to educate the community about what hospice does for patients, and their families.

“Today is about bringing everyone together for hospice and to educate the community about hospice care,” said U.P. Home Health & Hospice Executive Director Jennie Garret-Bureau. “We want to educate everyone that it is important to get into hospice care when you get a life–limiting diagnosis so that we can provide the best care for that patient and the family.”

The most important message that hospice workers want the community to hear today is that hospice is not about dying. It’s about living.

“I think it’s very important because a lot of people still really don’t understand exactly what hospice is,” said Jennifer Voegtline, CEO of Lake Superior Life Care & Hospice. “We want people to be educated and understand that hospice is about living, that people in hospice care actually live longer than those who aren’t under the care of hospice, and that it’s a team approach. There’s a lot of education that we still need to do to help people know that this support is available in our community.”

The event ended with the entire group singing Amazing Grace. It was a beautiful reminder of those who were in hospice care that are no longer with us and of the continuing mission of hospice professionals across the nation.