As families come to terms with the terminal stage of a loved one’s disease, plans are put in place to ensure their journey is met with dignity and compassion. For most people, this means living out their final days in the comfort of their own homes. By putting the right hospice palliative care supports in place, the quality of life for patients and their families can be significantly improved.
Understandably, the logistics of arranging for end-of-life care at home can be overwhelming. That’s why Circle of Care offers a wide range of supports that can help make this difficult transition smoother. In particular, our volunteer-run Visiting Hospice Program is shining example of what happens when compassionate people come together to support their community.
“It takes a very special and caring person to be a visiting hospice volunteer, and we are grateful for them every day,” says Lisa Rae, Manager of Volunteer Services at Circle of Care.
Following an intensive 30-hour training program, volunteers spend up to four hours each week providing companionship to clients and much-needed respite for family members. Volunteers can also warm up meals, pick up a few groceries, or accompany clients to medical appointments.
Unique to Circle of Care is our Jewish hospice program, run in partnership with social workers from Jewish Family and Child Services, that addresses the desire for religiously-focused end-of-life support.
For caregivers and clients alike, the community hospice programs can be a lifeline, says Lisa. “Caregiver burnout is a huge problem,” says Lisa. “And if caregivers don’t have the support to care for themselves, they’re not able to be there for their loved ones.”
“I don’t know how to express my gratitude to you for what the hospice program has done for me and my wife,” says the husband and caregiver of one of our palliative clients . “It’s allowed me to get out and do things, because I know that the volunteers are attentive and serious about their work. The volunteers are wonderful and treat us so nicely.”
Recently, the program expanded to offer bereavement support. A support group for families following the death of their loved one, as well as volunteer visits to bereaved clients in their homes, are available as they work through the grieving process.