Even during a public health emergency, hospice and palliative care professionals rise to the challenge of providing compassionate, person-centered care in the community. Kandice Dickinson, Director of Public Relations for Heart ‘n Home Hospice, shares a creative way they met their community’s need for grief support.
Hospice providers are experts in grief and bereavement, and we believe we can be of greater support on a grander scale to many. We realize that with today’s COVID crisis, every person in the world has experienced form of grief – whether that is loss of life, a job, normal routines, and much more.
We recorded our six-part video series with our social workers called “Hope for the Holidays” for all those who have lost someone – especially the medical field professionals, who have lost so many patients to COVID. We hope to shine a light again on how hospice professionals are experts in bereavement and grief and can be a resource to all during this pandemic. We want to help. They can all be found on our YouTube page at www.youtube.com/user/gohospice.
“The holidays are a difficult time for many people and layered with the COVID-19 pandemic, the emotional stress is at a level that none of us can truly imagine. Due to the restrictions for infection prevention, we wanted to be able to reach individuals who were grieving and struggling in their living rooms or wherever they may be virtually,” said Felicia Comfort, CSWA, social worker at Heart ‘n Home Hospice.
The videos provide coping skills and strategies, and they give people permission to grieve and create new traditions.
“Normally, people are able to be together to grieve and we know this year is very different. We wanted individuals who may be suffering, to know they are not alone and there are ways to help them cope during this holiday season. Our hope would be that they would not feel alone and normalize their feelings,” Felicia said.
At Heart ‘n Home, we are always seeking new and innovative ways to be a definitive leader in hospice care. The creation of a recorded Hope for the Holidays series that would be accessible to everyone is another way to get creative and innovative in a very difficult time.
“My inspiration came from the phrase, ‘Necessity is the mother of invention.’ It is a necessity to deliver services to our communities and given the current environment we are in, this seemed like one innovative way to do so,” said Mandy Putzier, social worker at Heart ‘n Home Hospice.
“My hope is that we can reach people who we are unable to reach due to COVID. But even bigger than COVID is the idea that many people would benefit from this type of support outside of a pandemic. There are many different ways people grieve, so I believe there should be many different ways people have access to grief support. My hope is this will help people now and into the future,” Mandy continued.
If you would like to share the creative ways your hospice and palliative care team is caring for patients amid the COVID-19 crisis, please send your photos and stories to the team at NHPCO, so you can be featured in the #hapcFacesOfCaring campaign.