It’s National Hospice Month. What a year! What the last two years have been! So much has happened, so much has changed.
With social distancing, mask wearing, and isolation the pandemic took away our most important tool—touch and closeness, eye to eye, up close and personal contact.
When you can’t fix a physical body, when medical tools are no longer appropriate or even helpful and comforting, what is left? Personhood. How is personhood conveyed? Though touch, through facial expression, through closeness -- a hug when words are meaningless, holding a hand when medicines aren’t working, being a presence brings comfort. During these two years hospice has had to work through Zoom meetings, masked face to face, and lots and lots of phone calls. There has been very little face to face, even less hands on touch.
But we did it! We invented new ways to support families that couldn’t be at the bedside. We taught from afar and through the phone. We suggested guided imagery, standing outside windows, even plastic curtains with gloved arm holes.
Now, as the pandemic begins to recede, we are left with a country in profound grief. Grief is one of our specialties. We know how to support and comfort grief. My wish for hospice is to begin community grief support groups, Covid grief support groups. Not just our small hospice families and community if they happen to hear about us but open and promoted on a wide scale to all kind of groups. A “Now that the pandemic is receding let’s look at our grief” workshops and support groups, groups for the community, groups for healthcare workers.
The pandemic has opened the door for hospice to enter more boldly, more loudly. Dying and grief are our specialities. Let the community know we are here and available to support them as we all struggle with the emotional trauma and grief of the last two years.
Something more... about It's National Hospice Month 2021
In honor of National Hospice Month, during the month of November, we have discounted my comprehensive 3 hour training video This Is How People Die. It is half price. Yep, that's 50% off, to help agencies train their staff (especially new staff) collectively. When all members of the staff educate families in the same way, families have a better understanding of the dying process and fewer questions. CAHPS scores will reflect this. Use discount code NOV21 at checkout.
This sale is not exclusive to hospice workers. Death care workers may take advantage of this offer also.