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Staff and volunteers at Los Alamos Visiting Nurses are taking advantage of November, National Hospice Month, to educate the community about hospice. Hospice, said executive director of Visiting Nurses Sarah Rochester, is more of a philosophy than a place and its about caring and sharing. Additionally, she said, it is more about living than dying. Hospice, Rochester said, promotes living to the last moment of your life and Visiting Nurses personnel will spread this message throughout the community during this month. Los Alamos Visiting Nurses has been operating for 34 years. It is a state licensed, federally certified nonprofit and it is a United Way agency. Thirteen volunteers work for the Visiting Nurses and last year, they served more than 50 patients. Additionally, Rochester said equally as many terminally ill patients who didn’t use hospice were served. div>Generally, she said, about 15 patients are served at a time at hospice and their care can last a few days to months or even years. Services available through Los Alamos Visiting Nurses include administrating medications, dressing changes, assessment and teaching to both patient and family, by registered nurses. Physical therapists evaluate the patient’s needs and provide exercises and treatments to relieve pain and restore use of muscle and limbs.
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