By Maggie Vescovich, SLP
In the United States, we take access to hospice care for granted. In fact, our biggest hurdles are usually convincing family members to use hospice services, not finding an agency to provide the care.
Would it surprise you to learn that there are many areas in the world where hospice programs do not exist?
Global Partners in Care has its roots back in 1999, after U.S. hospice leaders had a powerful experience while touring hospices in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Read more
by Pat McGettigan, M.S.
A recent article in the NY Times which talks about the process of grieving gave me pause to begin to think about the men and women who have come through my office at the Counseling Center seeking help as they navigate their own grief after the loss of a loved one. The article cited research on the grieving process, mentioned Elizabeth Kubler Ross’ five stages of grief and a new way of grieving developed by a young widow.
As I pictured the faces of and recalled the words of many of those who sought help during their grieving process one thing was clear to me. Almost all of them wondered if how they were grieving was “normal”. As a society many of us tend to want a “recipe” for unfamiliar or painful transitions. When we can look up what to expect it can comfort us and remove the anxiety of facing “the unknown”. But what happens when our grief process doesn’t follow “the recipe”? Read more
by Barbara L’Amoreaux
Decades after serving, many veterans are still resolving the things they did and saw while in the military.
At the end of life, when we often seek closure on issues, veterans may have different concerns than non-vets. According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), it’s important to ask about a veteran’s time in the Service. “Since many Veterans’ stories were never heard, it is important to create a trusting environment and encourage conversations about their combat and/or other related experiences. By taking the time to ask about their time in the service, feelings of guilt, anger and other emotions can also be acknowledged.”
This week the Philadelphia Inquirer published an interview with a Holy Redeemer Hospice Chaplain, Debbie Ganci, who specializes in working with veterans in hospice. Read more
By Valerie Hartman, CRNT
As a hospice nurse I am part of a team, and I have access to a lot of support as a professional caregiver.
And, it’s my job (at least part of my job) to create a care plan that includes support for the family member as caregiver, since the hospice philosophy of care sees the patient and family as ‘one’. They are the central unit that drive decision making and will carry the legacy of their own personal hospice experience.
When I teach new hospice team orientees about the philosophy of hospice care, I always emphasize the reason why the patient and family member are treated emotionally as one: because the patient and his or her loved one(s) experience end of life with shared pain in the grieving process—which is why hospice care includes 13 months of bereavement counseling after a loss. Read more
By Ron King, D.Min., LMFT
When you receive a diagnosis of a terminal illness, difficult choices must be made.
Signing hospice admission forms indicate a choice has been made for comfort over cure. Many appreciate the freedom to make this decision, especially when treatment for comfort and cure cannot be carried out simultaneously. This choice can be made by a patient or by family members if the patient is unable to consider or communicate their preference. Read more