Palliative or Hospice Care: Which Service is Best for You?


Palliative vs Hospice

Homeland at Home strives to help patients and families make the most of their moments together. Through teams of dedicated and compassionate professionals, Homeland provides a continuum of care for changing life circumstances. Earlier this year, Homeland launched a Palliative Care program to enhance its line of services. The program works in collaboration with Homeland’s other outreach services, including Homeland Hospice. While Hospice Care and Palliative Care programs are often mistaken for one another, they are not the same.

Hospice care is for individuals with a serious illness when a medical cure is no longer possible or the decision to stop aggressive treatment has been made. Homeland Hospice helps patients and their loved ones live as fully as possible during their end-of-life journey by providing comfort and pain relief. In addition to care services, medical equipment and supplies are provided as needed to aid in a patient’s care.

Palliative care may be provided at any time during a person’s illness and is often offered to patients while they are receiving potentially life-prolonging or curative treatments. Palliative care is based on the needs of the patient, not on a specific diagnosis and does not prevent patients from receiving other healthcare services, treatments or procedures. This form of care provides relief to patients suffering from pain, stress or other symptoms due to a serious illness.

“The goal of palliative care is to reduce or eliminate symptoms such as pain, fatigue and other symptoms that may be impacting their quality of life or interfering with their ability to continue to pursue life prolonging care,” says David Wenner, Assistant Medical Director for Homeland Hospice. “This form of care often helps patients avoid unnecessary emergency room visits due to uncontrolled symptoms and other issues related to their disease.”

One similarity between hospice and palliative care is their delivery of services. Both programs are implemented anywhere a patient calls home. The convenience and comfort of receiving care at home brings comfort and peace of mind to patients and their families during a difficult time.

Homeland at Home delivers hospice and palliative services with its hallmark tradition of providing the most compassionate care possible. Central to this approach is putting the patient first. The Homeland team works with patients and their families to understand the patients’ goals and values so they can make the best care choices possible. Both programs understand each patient is different, so the Homeland team often incorporates out-of-the-box approaches to support patients’ individual needs.

Hadiza Fox has been a registered nurse practitioner at Homeland for more than six years. She provides both hospice and palliative care to patients and understands how to make sure patients’ voices are heard during their time of need.

“Each patient is unique and requires a personalized approach to care,” Hadiza adds. “The Homeland team works together, along with a patient’s other health care providers, to ensure that care is consistent, compassionate and individualized.”

The month of November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. Homeland is honored and privileged to be part of the lives of patients and their families in central Pennsylvania. We are proud of our outstanding team of professionals who provide the highest quality of care every day.

For more information on Homeland’s Hospice and Palliative Care programs, call (717) 221-7890.

Homeland’s Rev. Dann Caldwell to Speak at Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg


It has been 159 years since President Abraham Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg, the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. What he said that day in his two-minute speech and the sacrifices soldiers made on that hallowed ground stay with us today. Every year on November 19, a dedication ceremony and remembrance parade are held at the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg to honor that moment in our nation’s history. This year’s Dedication Day will feature a closing prayer by Rev. Dann Caldwell, chaplain for Homeland Center and Homeland Hospice.

Dann has been a member of Homeland’s team for nearly 10 years. In his role, Dann provides spiritual and emotional support to patients and their families. For Dann, a life-long resident of the region, the opportunity to participate in this year’s Dedication Day is an honor.

“A friend from my church recommended me to the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania,” Dann says. “I am humbled to be part of this historic event.”

This year’s Dedication Day includes remarks from three distinguished scholars. Dr. Allen Guelzo, author of award-winning books about Civil War history will give the keynote address. Historian and writer Jon Meacham, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his biography American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, will present the Gettysburg Address and provide remarks. Harold Holzer, pre-eminent Lincoln scholar, will introduce Meacham.

For his closing prayer, Dann is drawing on his deep well of faith and pride as a citizen of our nation to deliver a message of peace while honoring those who are buried at the cemetery. As the final resting place for thousands of soldiers, the site summons a variety of emotions from loss to the healing power of faith.

“The day reminds us to bear witness to the tragedy of warfare,” Dann says. “God’s desire is for peace and reconciliation for all of His children.”

Homeland’s history is rooted in the impact of the Civil War. Homeland was founded in 1867 as the “Home for the Friendless” to serve families impacted by the devastation of the war. Today, Homeland Center is a personal care home, memory care home, skilled nursing facility and rehabilitation facility. Homeland also provides hospice, home care, home health and palliative care services to serve the diverse and changing needs of families throughout central Pennsylvania.

This year’s Dedication Day is sponsored by the Gettysburg National Military Park, the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania, the Gettysburg Foundation and Gettysburg College. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit Dedication Day Events.

For more information on Homeland Center and Homeland Hospice, call (717) 221-7890.

‘Vet to Vet’ program brings Homeland’s Veterans together for friendship and shared memories.


Bob Timpko appeared lost in thought as his fellow Veterans commented after seeing a short film depicting a soldier’s first-hand account of fighting in World War II’s Battle of the Bulge.

After the account of Germany’s last-ditch effort to stop the allied advance into their country in mid-December 1944, many sang “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” and a few talked about their time in the military or their family member’s service.

“I went into the Marines because it was the toughest one,’’ said Bob Timpko, who served from 1958-62, followed by a career in sales. “I wanted to serve, and there was also a draft at the time, so I joined. They helped me grow.’’

Welcome to the Vet to Vet Café, where Veterans and family members of those who served have a chance to talk and share their memories. The monthly gathering, held in Homeland Center’s 1950s-style Olewine Diner, offers these residents an opportunity to connect with others who understand the camaraderie and sacrifices of military service.

The program initially started with Homeland Hospice, an outreach program that cares for patients in the comfort of their homes or wherever they live. Homeland Hospice embraced the program as part of its work with We Honor Veterans, which offers hospices and community organizations guidance on assisting veterans.

Homeland Hospice Chaplain Todd Carver, who also served as a chaplain in the Army reserves, said the military culture is unique, and the Vet to Vet program gives Homeland Center residents who served the opportunity to connect with others who understand what they are feeling.

“There can be an emotional cost associated with military service; what they did 40 or 50 years ago can still affect the person they are all these years later,’’ Carver said. “Vet to Vet lets them know they are not alone and they can share their stories and experiences.’’

Another way the program recognizes Veterans is through the “pinning ceremony,’’ in which Homeland residents and Hospice patients receive a pin and certificate reflecting the military branch in which they served. They also receive a star cut from a decommissioned American flag.

Carver said the ceremony is often emotional and that, as someone who served, it means a lot to him when he salutes his fellow Veteran and thanks them for helping protect the country.

“I’ve spent a significant portion of my life serving that particular population, and I feel the connections and the experiences I had are transferable and relatable, even to those who are my seniors,’’ Carver said. “It’s a common ground.’’

Laurie Murry, Homeland Hospice’s volunteer coordinator, said learning how to relate to patients and residents is crucial, which is why Homeland embraced Veteran-related programs.

“The Veteran community really has its own language and culture, and to truly understand it, you either have to have served or educate yourself so you can better interact with the patients,’’ Murry said.

“We found that often Veteran patients have a unique set of issues they may deal with at the end of life; perhaps they’ve had trauma or PTSD or have not dealt with an incident that occurred during combat,’’ she said. “With education and support, we’re able as civilians to understand better and help them more.’’

If you are interested in spending time as a volunteer for Homeland Center or Homeland at Home, please call Homeland Hospice at (717) 221-7890 and ask for Laurie Murry.