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Massage therapy latest service provided by Blessing Hospice and Palliative Care

By: STEVE EIGHINGER, Quincy Herald-Whig    |    August 15, 2012

Massage therapy is available to patients in the Blessing Hospice service area of Adams, Brown, Hancock, Pike, Henderson, Greene, Calhoun, Scott and Jersey counties in West-Central and Central Illinois.

Jeri Conboy, Blessing Hospice and Palliative Care director, feels the new service will be popular with and beneficial to patients. Massage therapy has been available since Aug. 1.

"The goal of hospice care is to relieve pain and symptoms of a terminal illness to allow patients to enjoy the highest quality of life possible with their loved ones," Conboy said.

Conboy said the goal of hospice care is to provide a full offering of social and emotional support services. When a medical cure is no longer an option, the focus of care turns to comfort.

"(Massage therapy) will be another important option we can provide in our effort to help patients add life to their days," she said.

Conboy said several massage therapists in the hospice's coverage will be offering their services. That includes longtime Quincy-area massage therapist Cindy Spake, who is nationally certified and state-licensed with 24 years of experience.

"The multidisciplinary approach of hospice care assures the highest quality of care for patients by relying upon the expertise of the medical team," Spake said.

Blessing Hospice and Palliative Care has been serving the terminally ill and their loved ones throughout the region since 1983, while acknowledging each person's dignity and the need to be surrounded by people they love.

The hospice staff includes a combination of doctors, nurses, home health aides, social workers, clergy, volunteers and office support.

Conboy said studies have shown people receiving hospice care can live 21 to 83 days longer than those who do not receive hospice care.

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