Advance Care Planning

Ask the Expert – A dementia-focused educational series for caregivers on September 27th

Are you a caregiver and need resources? This presentation is for you!

Convening Important Conversations in Honor of National Healthcare Decisions Day

Crater Community Hospice will offer two free screenings of the PBS program “Being Mortal,” paired with panel discussions with local experts as well as a free Coffee Chat with Mike Perdue on “Avoiding Family Conflict in Estate Planning.” These events are part of the organization’s recognition of National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). This annual event aims to help people across the U.S. understand the value of advance healthcare planning. For 2017, NHDD will be a week-long event, from April 16 to 22.
Each event will be part of a national dialog that asks “Have you and your family had the tough conversations and planned ahead?”
Certificates of Attendance are available.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017: Being Mortal – Screening and Panel Discussion
9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (Registration begins at 9:00 am with program to begin at 9:20)
Bethia United Methodist Church
10700 Winterpock Road Chesterfield, VA 23832
Sponsored by Crater Community Hospice and the Office of the Chesterfield County Senior Advocate
Free, rsvp required by March 31, 2017

Thursday, April 6, 2017: Coffee Chat on Avoiding Family Conflict in Estate Planning
8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Crater Community Hospice
3916 S. Crater Road, Petersburg, VA 23805
Free, rsvp required by April 4, 2017

Wednesday, April 12, 2017: Being Mortal – Screening and Panel Discussion
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Registration begins at 2:00 pm with program to begin at 2:20)
Southside Regional Medical Center
200 Medical Park Blvd, Petersburg, VA 23805
A/B Classroom on the first floor
Free, rsvp required by April 10, 2017

“Being Mortal” delves into the hopes of patients and families facing terminal illness. The film investigates the practice of caring for the dying and explores the relationships between patients and their doctors. It follows a surgeon, Dr. Atul Gawande, as he shares stories from the people and families he encounters. When Dr. Gawande’s own father gets cancer, his search for answers about how to best care for the dying becomes a personal quest. After the screening, attendees can participate in a guided conversation on concrete steps to identify and communicate wishes about end-of-life goals and preferences. The free screenings of “Being Mortal” are made possible by a grant from The John and Wauna Harman Foundation in partnership with the Hospice Foundation of America.

Every month Crater Community Hospice hosts a free coffee chat providing an educational presentation and networking opportunities. This month, local attorney Mike Purdue of Paul/Perdue Attorneys presents “Avoiding Family Conflict in Estate Planning.” Mr. Purdue will discuss planning strategies to help maintain family harmony. He will cover an overview of specific aspects of pre-planning including estates, wills, trusts, and advance directives.

For more information, or to RSVP contact Patti Cox at (804) 526-4300.

Avoiding Family Conflict in Estate Planning on Thursday April 6th

In honor of National Healthcare Decision Day on April 16th, the next coffee and conversation will feature local attorney Mike Perdue of Paul/Perdue Attorneys. New: Certificates of Attendance can be made available!

Join us for this important presentation! Rsvp today online or by contacting Patti.

For a full listing of upcoming community events, please click here.

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National Healthcare Decisions Day

2016 NHDD Banner




Saturday, April 16th is National Healthcare Decisions Day.  This observance serves as an annual reminder of the importance of creating and sharing an Advance Medical Directive. A directive allows you to thoughtfully consider your options and make careful decisions as to what medical measures you might want or not want and designate someone to communicate those preferences to your loved ones and medical professionals should it become necessary.

It is often easier to bring up the subject of advance directives with your friends and family when you can address the reason why you are taking the time to complete it. National Healthcare Decisions Day provides that perfect opportunity. This is a the chance for you and your loved ones to discuss your shared or differing views on spirituality as well as medical concerns before any crisis occurs. That way everyone knows what your preferences are, and may even be convinced to create their own advance directives as well.

You do not have to see a lawyer to create your advance directive. You should have your signature on the document witnessed.

Once you have completed your directive, the next step is to make sure you keep it where it will be easily found if needed. You should give a copy to your designated spokesperson as well as your doctors and your clergy, with a note as to where the original signed version is stored. Safe deposit boxes are discouraged as it may be difficult for others to access them if needed.

There are many free resources available to help you create your own directive, or help you have conversations with your loved ones about creating a directive or informing them of a directive already created.  Lots of information is linked to the National Healthcare Decisions Day website and specific requirements for Virginia can be found at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s Caring Info website.

If you need additional information, please contact us at Crater Community Hospice (804) 526-4300.


Chief Executive Officer, Crater Community Hospice

CCH Hospice Care Team

The CCH Hospice Care Team

Hospice Care is a team effort. Each member of the team plays an important role in providing compassionate care that meets the unique needs of each patient. Together, with the patient and family members (who serve as primary caregivers), the professional hospice care team works to ensure that the patient is as comfortable as possible and able to live life to the fullest.

At Crater Community Hospice our care team is led by Medical Director, Dr. Michael R. Cohen.  Dr. Cohen works with our professional care team to develop a plan for patient treatment, support, personal care, and other specialized services that benefit the patient and support the family.

The Hospice Care Nurse has specialized training in pain and symptom management. The RN visits the patient regularly and assesses and addresses patient and family needs. The Hospice Nurse then works with the team to ensure that needs are met and that the plan of care is followed. The Nurse also helps support the patient and family, as needed.

The Hospice Aide provides direct care to the patient and provides physical and emotional support to the patient and family. The Aide also reports needs to the Hospice Care Nurse.

The Hospice Social Worker assesses the patient’s and family’s emotional and financial needs and makes referrals accordingly. The Social Worker can also provide direct counseling and assist with end-of-life planning.

Our Chaplain provides emotional and spiritual support to the patient and their family. The Chaplain may also coordinate with community clergy to meet the needs of the patient and family. The Chaplain also helps to provide bereavement support.

Hospice Volunteers give their time in many ways: providing companionship and support to hospice patients and their families; working in our office to provide clerical support; serving on our Board of Directors, sitting on various committees of our Board, lending support at various events and more.  Our volunteers also provide non-medical support services and respite to the family and offer bereavement support after the patient has passed away.

After the loss of the hospice patient, the Hospice Bereavement Counselor provides support to the family for a minimum of 13 months. The Bereavement Counselor provides one-on-one support, and plans and moderates grief support groups.

CCH is a non-profit hospice organization, Our Community is also an important part of the Hospice Care Team. With your financial support we are able to provide hospice care to anyone in need regardless of their ability to pay and to meet the care needs of patients whose medications or care plans exceed the cost of insurance or Medicare reimbursement.

At Crater Community Hospice, our Hospice Care Team is dedicated to meeting the needs of our patients and families from referral through on-going bereavement support. Our goal is to help the families we serve “celebrate life every day.”

National Healthcare Decisions Day

April 16, 2015 is National Healthcare Decisions Day. This day is dedicated to inspiring, educating and empowering the public and providers about the importance of planning for your end-of-life care. Planning for end-of-life care is more than deciding what care you would or would not want. It starts with clarifying your values, identifying your care preferences, expressing your preferences to your loved ones and physician, and finally choosing an agent to express your decisions when you are no longer able.

Too many people assume they have time to plan their end-of-life care and put off the self-exploration and conversation involved in preparing the necessary documentation. In hospice care we often see families at the bedside of a seriously ill loved one who is nearing the end of life, each member of the family has a different idea of what should be done and what the patient wants.

Crater Community Hospice is proud to join the national effort to provide the information and opportunity for all adults to communicate and document their healthcare decisions. We encourage you to include hospice care as part of your healthcare plan. Hospice can provide information about care options and choices to ensure you live as fully as possible throughout your entire life. Hospice also provides support services to your family and loved ones.

Whatever you determine your wishes to be, we encourage you to complete an end-of-life planning document this National Healthcare Decisions Day. Take this opportunity to discuss your wishes with family members (and learn what their wishes are) so that you are prepared for the future.

There are many online resources for obtaining an Advance Medical Directive. Links can be found on the National Healthcare Decisions Day website or you can download information specific to Virginia from the Serious Illness/Richmond website.

If you need additional information, please contact Crater Community Hospice (804) 526-4300.

National Healthcare Decisions Day
by Brenda Mitchell, MSN,APHN-BC,RN,CHPN,CHPA
Chief Executive Officer, Crater Community Hospice

It’s Time to Have “THE TALK”

by Brenda Mitchell, MSN,APHN-BC,RN,CHPN,CHPA
Chief Executive Officer, Crater Community Hospice

Are you a one or a five? Or do you fall somewhere in the middle when it comes to wanting medical treatment at the end of your life?  While this isn’t an easy question to answer, it is an even harder question to ask a loved one who is already living with a serious illness. No matter how difficult, it is an important question to answer so that we can die the way we have lived – with intention and in the manner that WE have chosen. By answering this question and others , you are giving your loved ones the gift of advance care planning. If you have not done advance care planning, it’s time to have “THE TALK.”

Advance care planning is the process that allows individuals the opportunity to determine their goals for end-of-life medical treatment based on their personal values and beliefs surrounding illness and death. It also allows individuals the chance to communicate their wishes with their loved ones and primary care physician and to name a proxy (someone who will make health care decisions when you are unable.)

Advance care directives come in two main forms: a “Healthcare Power of Attorney” which documents the person you select to be your proxy; and a “Living Will” which documents the kinds of medical treatments you would or would not like at the end of your life.

April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day. As you prepare to make your healthcare decisions, consider these questions:

  1. Where do you fall on the end-of-life medical treatment continuum?
  2. If there was a choice would you prefer to die in the hospital or at home?
  3. Could a loved one correctly describe how you would like to be treated in case of a terminal illness?
  4. Is there someone you trust, whom you’ve appointed, who could advocate on your behalf when the time is near?
  5. Have you completed and shared with your primary care physician and loved ones a Healthcare Power of Attorney, Living Will or Advance Care Directive?

The time is NOW to think about these questions for yourself and to have “THE TALK” with your loved ones. On April 16 it will be time to finalize your decisions and become part of National Healthcare Decisions Day.