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Bereavement

Being Mortal – Thursday, October 5, 2017 at HCAVA John Randolph Medical Center

If you thought you were dying, what would matter most? Join a national dialogue taking place in your community concerning an inescapable reality of life: death.

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!

“Understanding & Coping With Grief”

Are you or someone you know grieving the loss of a loved one? 

(For adults grieving the loss of a loved one) 

Join us on Thursday mornings to gain support from others who are in a similar situation and discover coping mechanisms that will help you and your family through the unpredictable journey of grief.

Sponsored by Crater Community Hospice and J.T. Morriss & Son

 

Location: Bermuda Hundred United Methodist Church

Address: 2025 Florence Ave. Chester, VA 23836

When: Thursday Mornings, Sept. 21 – Oct. 19, 2017

Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM (5 weekly Sessions)

Facilitator: Angie Morriss

Free of Charge 

For Additional information or to register, contact: 

Patti Cox, Crater Community Hospice

Phone: 804-840-6454

Email: pcox@cratercommunityhospice.org

Angie Morriss, Facilitator

Phone: 804-536-7172

Email: angiemorriss@yahoo.com

Registration in advance is required as space is 

limited and dates or locations are subject to change 

 

Tips and Events to Cope with Grief During the Holidays

hope-for-the-holidays

 

 

 

 

 

 

The holidays can be both a joyful and stressful time of year, with an endless “to do” list of holiday shopping, decorations and financial stressors. It can be even more difficult for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one or caring for a loved one with a serious illness. When others around you seem happy and full of holiday cheer, you may want to just skip the holidays altogether. The sights, sounds and smells of the holiday season can be overwhelming and the period of time leading up to the holidays can actually be worse than the day itself.

We have some important tips for handling the holidays from our bereavement coordinator Patti Cox, and are hosting two events for those in the Tri-Cities area who may be struggling with grief – see the end of this post for more details.

Before Thanksgiving Day, think about what might be tough and plan ahead, for example the “empty chair” …. should you keep it in place or remove it from the table all together? Should the oldest child or another family member sit there now? Should you set a place in honor of your loved one who isn’t with you this year? There’s no right or wrong answer, do what’s best for you and your family!

Be realistic…. Don’t over schedule, you know yourself better than anyone. Set realistic goals and always have more than one plan. By having multiple plans, plan A, B and C you can quickly move to the next plan if the previous one isn’t working or becomes too difficult.

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to do things the way you’ve always done them. It may be a good time to start some new traditions, this doesn’t mean you’re going to lose the old traditions; you can always go back to them or incorporate them again when you’re ready. Just because you’ve always put on a huge feast doesn’t mean you have to this year, have everyone bring a dish, have another family member host Thanksgiving dinner, or go out to a restaurant.

Address the “elephant in the room,” acknowledge your loved one and include them in holiday gatherings by lighting a candle, making a “toast” in their honor or sharing favorite memories and funny stories about them. It may be difficult to start these conversations but it will benefit everyone around you and help each of you heal, a little bit at a time.

A wonderful new tradition is to cover the table with a plain table cloth, provide permanent markers for family members and guests to write what they’re “thankful” for on the table cloth, a favorite memory or message to your loved one; children can have fun by drawing pictures. Bring the tablecloth out at each holiday gathering until it’s full and then start a new one!

Remember to give “thanks” for those who have touched our hearts and lives with their memories and love, which can never be taken from us. This year give thanks that the grief you feel is based on the beautiful memories you have made and on the enormous love you’ve shared!

If you or someone you know is struggling with grief this holiday season, please consider joining us for the following upcoming free community events:

    • December Coffee Chat on Thursday 12/1 at 8:00 am with Don Phelps, Director of Spiritual Care Services at SRMC on “Coping with Grief During the Holidays.” Discover coping mechanisms and rituals of remembrance that will help you and your family through the upcoming Holiday Season. Free, rsvp requested by 11/29 804.840.6454 or register online here. More details here.
    • Family Grief Support Group Saturday 12/3 8:30 am-12:00pm for grieving children and their families. Free, rsvp required 804.282.2192 x224 (Note: Will not be held at CCH offices; call for details.) More details here.
    • Coping with Grief & Loss During the Holidays: A Holiday Grief Workshop  Monday 12/5/2016 – (adults only, please)
      5:00-6:30 pm at Always Best Care Senior Services, 10810 Hasty Lane Suite 103, Midlothian VA 23112
      Free, but space is limited; please rsvp by December 2nd to Patti Cox 804.840.6454 or pcox@cratercommunityhospice.org
    • Putting the JOY back into the Holidays with Helen Peace M.Ed., CCH Ambassador Tuesday 12/13/2016 –
      6:30pm-7:30pm at the Petersburg Public Library, Multi-Purpose Room – 201 W. Washington St
      part of the Alzheimer’s Association Conversations about Alzheimer’s and Dementia
      Free, pre-registration required 804.526.2359 x8406 or chamlin@alz.org

For a full listing of upcoming community events, please click here. CCH also provides a free monthly e-newsletter with tips and resources for caregivers. Sign up here.

Brenda D. Mitchell, RN
CEO, Crater Community Hospice, Inc.

 

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.”

Stress and the Holidays

The holidays can be both a joyful and stressful time of year, with an endless “to do” list of holiday shopping, decorations and financial stressors. It can be even more difficult for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one or caring for a loved one with a serious illness. When others around you seem happy and full of holiday cheer, you may want to just skip the holidays altogether. The sights, sounds and smells of the holiday season can be overwhelming and the period of time leading up to the holidays can actually be worse than the day itself.

Before Christmas Day, think about what might be tough and plan ahead, for example the “empty chair” ….should you keep it in place or remove it from the table all together? Should the oldest child or another family member sit there now? Should you set a place in honor of your loved one who isn’t with you this year? There’s no right or wrong answer, do what’s best for you and your family!

Be realistic…. Don’t over schedule, you know yourself better than anyone. Set realistic goals and always have more than one plan. By having multiple plans, plan A, B and C you can quickly move to the next plan if the previous one isn’t working or becomes too difficult. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to do things the way you’ve always done them. It may be a good time to start some new traditions, this doesn’t mean you’re going to lose the old traditions; you can always go back to them or incorporate them again when you’re ready. Just because you’ve always put on a huge feast doesn’t mean you have to this year, have everyone bring a dish, have another family member host Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, or go out to a restaurant this year.

Address the “elephant in the room,” acknowledge your loved one and include them in holiday gatherings by lighting a candle, making a “toast” in their honor or sharing favorite memories and funny stories about them. It may be difficult to start these conversations but it will benefit everyone around you and help each of you heal, a little bit at a time. A wonderful new tradition is to cover the table with a plain table cloth, provide permanent markers for family members and guests to write what they’re “thankful” for on the table cloth, a favorite memory or message to your loved one; children can have fun by drawing pictures. Bring the tablecloth out at each holiday gathering until it’s full and then start a new one!

Remember to give “thanks” for those who have touched our hearts and lives with their memories and love, which can never be taken from us. This year give thanks that the grief you feel is based on the beautiful memories you have made and on the enormous love you’ve shared!

by Patti Cox, Hospice Bereavement Counselor

Grief & Bereavement Support

At CCH, we support the patient’s family as well as the patient. From running errands, providing respite care for their loved one, emotional support, or helping them through the grief, bereavement and mourning process.

Grief is the normal process of reacting to loss. Grief can be experienced during a physical loss (like the death of a loved one), or a social or symbolic loss (like divorce or the loss of a job). When a loved one has a serious illness, often grief is experienced throughout the illness. The family may grieve the loss of the patient’s health, independence, and their diminished ability to participate in the life of the family. Grief can be felt physically and mentally and often feels like an emotional “roller coaster.”

Bereavement is the period following the loss of a loved one where grief is experienced and mourning occurs. Everyone responds to the bereavement period differently, depending upon their relationship with the patient.

Mourning is the process in which people adapt to a loss. There are also social and cultural customs that can affect how one experiences the mourning process.

If you have a friend who is experiencing the grief, bereavement or mourning process you can support them by:

  • Just being with them and being patient when there is silence between you
  • Listening in an accepting way and being open to their feelings (even if they are not the same feeling you are experiencing such as anger)
  • Encourage the person in mourning to talk about the deceased, don’t be afraid to mention the deceased’s name.
  • Accept that tears are normal and healthy.

Crater Community Hospice offers several bereavement support groups throughout Chesterfield, Petersburg and Crater Health District. If you or a friend are experiencing grief, bereavement or mourning, we encourage you to seek out a support group. Many people find it helpful just knowing that they are not alone and that other people have experienced the same physical and emotional feelings they are going through.

Call Patti Cox, Hospice Bereavement Counselor at (804) 526-4300 for more information on support groups and resources available through Crater Community Hospice. CLICK HERE for the 2015 Fall Support Group Schedule.

by Brenda Mitchell,MSN,RN,APHN-BC,CHPN,CHPA
      Executive Director