Podcast Episode 104: Hospice Care and the Myths Surrounding It

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As Parkinson’s disease (PD) progresses into its advanced stages, symptoms can become increasingly difficult to manage. At some point, the person with PD and care partners may consider hospice services, which can optimize the quality of life for the person and the family. Whether the person resides at home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home, hospice can come to them. Hospice is really part of palliative care, which aims to relieve the burden of a disease not only near the end of life but all along its course. Both the terms “palliative care” and “hospice” are often misunderstood, and certain myths surround them.

This podcast is the first of a two-part series on hospice and palliative care. In this first episode, Jessica Shurer, MSW, LCSW, Clinical Social Worker and Center Coordinator of the Movement Disorders Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, helps to dispel some of the misunderstanding about hospice. She describes what hospice is, how it operates, and when and how to consider it. Moreover, she highlights the medical, psychological, and logistical benefits it can bring to the person with PD and to care partners.

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About This Episode

Released: May 18, 2021

ShurerJessica Shurer, MSW, LCSW

Jessica Shurer, MSW, LCSW is the Clinical Social Worker and Center Coordinator of Movement Disorders Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which is both a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence and CurePSP Center of Care at UNC. She studied Psychology, Gerontology and Human Development & Family Studies at Penn State University. She joined the UNC Movement Disorders team in 2012 after graduating with her Master of Social Work at UNC Chapel Hill where she also completed an Interdisciplinary Certificate in Aging and the Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education Fellowship.

In her role, Ms. Shurer provides psychosocial support and connection to resources for patients and families living with Parkinson’s disease and atypical Parkinsonism diagnoses (PSP, CBD and MSA), coordinates two specialty interdisciplinary clinics, facilitates three community support groups and co-facilitates a national support group, and organizes educational and outreach programming. She is honored to be involved in multiple initiatives and collaborations with the Parkinson’s Foundation and to be on the Board of Directors for CurePSP. Her clinical and research interests include supporting and processing emotional needs of navigating the disease journey, integrated healthcare models, and end-of-life care.

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