Home Care and Hospice Professionals are “Superheroes”
United States Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) spoke at the National Association for Home Care & Hospice’s (NAHC) 2016 March on Washington Senate Breakfast. Sen. Klobuchar, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also attended last year’s Senate Breakfast.
Introducing Sen. Klobuchar was former U.S. Senator Mark Begich, Vice President for Policy and Development at NAHC. Begich called Sen. Klobuchar, “a true hero for home care and hospice,” citing her cosponsorship of the Care Planning Act and the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act, as well as her support for the home care and hospice community in opposing benefit cuts. “Ever year Sen. Klobuchar steps up to the plate and helps us in every regard,” Begich said. “She is tenacious, she fights hard for what she believes in, and she works across party lines.”
Sen. Klobuchar said she had just returned from two weeks in Minnesota where she was able to meet with Alzheimer’s patients and their families, which gave her a sense of “the need for home care and hospice.” She continued, “I’ve always thought of long-term care right now and the medical needs of people as they get older as the elephant in the room, as we keep re-doing fights about Obamacare,” she said. “We have to look at these long-term care issues; especially to me that means home care and hospice care as we have this doubling of the senior population.”
Sen. Klobuchar elaborated on how the aging population is resulting in a growing need for home care and hospice. “As we experience the silver surge in people getting older, we know that they all don’t want to be in [nursing] homes but some of them want to stay at home. That’s really the future and that’s also how we save money. To me, that is going to take more home care; it’s going to take some innovative policies in terms of how they get delivery of medications and their groceries and everything like it… I’m excited to move on to these new issues, and I know you’re going to play a major role.”
“In your work you have seen it all,” she said. “You have seen how, with a little help in the home, an elderly woman can keep her connection to the community and, even more importantly, her dignity. You have seen how, with the assistance of a skilled nurse, a family of a child with special needs doesn’t need to turn to institutionalized care and instead their child can be at home. You’ve seen how, at the end of a life well-lived, an elderly man and his family can get the support they need to keep their peace and say goodbye.”
“You might not be wearing capes,” Sen. Klobuchar said, “but I think you know you are truly heroes to our country and heroes to those who, right at that time when they think no one is there for them, you are there, and you are their superheroes.”