November is National Hospice Month
Creating memories with family and loved ones is always a good thing, but when a person enters hospice care time together feels all the more precious.
Staff and volunteers at Hospice of the Heartland work with patients, caregivers, family members and friends to create special artistic projects. These activities not only bring people together for quality time, they also create a lasting memorial that helps families as they work through the feelings of loss when a loved one dies. Some of these crafts include Priceless Prints charms, made by using a thumbprint of a person that becomes a sterling silver charm that can be added to a bracelet, necklace or earrings.
Another project is the Precious Impressions hand mold kit that captures the shape of the person’s hands, including all the familiar lines and creases, rings and other details. These crafts are created with the help of Hospice staff or volunteers.
“The memory crafts are tools we use to help people remember their spouse, grandparents or friend that died, and help them cope with feelings of grief and loss,” said Erin Shaw, patient care coordinator for Hospice of the Heartland. “Everyone has their own way of dealing with grief, but we’ve found that many people enjoy the act of creating something together.”
Hospice of the Heartland services are provided to clients diagnosed with a terminal illness that can no longer benefit from curative treatment. Shaw says that while people often think of entering Hospice care as “giving up” that it’s more about making the most of the days of your life.
“If you’ve determined that a cure is no longer possible, entering into Hospice allows you to embrace each day. You can focus on pain relief and being comfortable, and make the most of time with your family and friends,” said Shaw. “One of the comments that we hear most often from our patients and their caregivers is that they wish they would have utilized the services Hospice provides sooner than they did.”
Services from Hospice of the Heartland are provided by a team of trained, local professionals—physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, pharmacists, a massage therapist, home health aides, and volunteers—who provide medical, care and support services not only to the patients but also to the entire family. Hospice of the Heartland provides grief and bereavement support for caregivers and family members, in addition to offering events for Hospice families in May and in December each year.
The Hospice of the Heartland Lights of Life event is planned for December 2 at 2 p.m in the lobby of Kossuth Regional Health Center This annual memorial service and tree-lighting ceremony promotes the work of hospice and raises funds to support program needs. A gift of $10 lights a bulb in memory or in honor of an individual. For more information about Hospice services or the Hospice of the Heartland Lights of Life program, please call 515-295-4430.