November is National Hospice Month, and for many people it’s also the beginning of the holiday season when extended families gather to celebrate. These gatherings often include updates and discussions about caring for loved ones who are no longer able to care for themselves. This is when it is good to understand how hospice can help.

The word “hospice” often brings up anxiety and resistance fueled by misconceptions about what hospice care actually includes. Hospice is so much more than end-of-life care, benefiting both patients and their families. 

Far from “giving up” in the face of an advanced illness, choosing hospice can help patients and families make the most of time together when a cure is no longer an option. 

At St. Croix Hospice, we focus on helping patients and loved ones maintain quality of life during the time they have together. Hospice care can be provided for anyone with a life expectancy of six months or less, and it may be continued as long as a patient is eligible.

Everyone deserves exceptional care and comfort when the end of life approaches. With hospice, patients can receive care wherever they call home – a private residence, nursing home or assisted living facility. 

And because hospice services are tailored to each patient, it can include the unique wishes of each individual, respecting personal choices while providing comfort, care and dignity during this important time.

Heath Bartness is chief executive officer of St. Croix Hospice, a Minnesota-based hospice organization that provides 24/7, 365 days-a-year hospice services in locations around Minnesota and surrounding states, including North Branch at 6041 Main St., Suite G. For info call (855) 278-2764, email or visit  

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