620 South Dora Street, Suite 101 Ukiah, CA 95482 (707) 462-4038

Hospice of Ukiah Newsletter

 

Newsletter-Winter 2017

Volunteer Caregiver Training


 Scheduled and Individual Training

Call to register: Diane Keeton

Volunteer Coordinator – 489-0554


Hospice offers an in depth course designed to prepare Hospice Respite Volunteers and/or family caregivers to provide emotional and physical support to terminally or chronically ill patients and their families.  Graduates will be eligible, but not obligated, to become Hospice Family Respite Volunteers, giving the gift of support

and love to families in our community.


Why do we provide Volunteer Caregivers?


When faced with the news that a family member has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, many people worry about what they should say and do. They want to help, but fear that they will say or do something that will further upset the loved one.


Dying persons have the same physical, emotional, and spiritual needs as everyone else. In addition to the typical needs, persons who are dying are often concerned about being abandoned, losing control over their bodies and lives, and being in overpowering pain or distress.


What they need most is to be cared about, not just cared for. Some of the terminally ill person's needs are special and can only be met by individuals with special expertise. For example, prescriptions for pain medication must be written by a physician. However, many of their needs can be met by anyone. It is important to be familiar with the various ways in which we can help those who are dying. Even without special expertise, all of us can listen to and be with the dying person and his or her family.



The Four Areas of Care

There are four main areas of care for those who are coping with dying - physical, psychological, social, and spiritual. While the information applies directly to the dying person, it is also relevant to family members, friends, and associates, as well as professional and volunteer caregivers.


Physical Care
   A major concern is the control of acute and chronic physical pain. Other symptoms as distressi,ng, or even more so, include constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, weakness, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, and dehydration. Some may  be concerned about hair loss, dark circles around their eyes, and changes in their skin color. Effective care must address all of the dying person's symptoms. Our skilled, experienced, nursing staff can help with pain management, while family members and other caregivers can be trained to provide physical care that will help to lessen the affliction.


Psychological Care
  It is important to take seriously what dying persons are feeling. They are likely to express anger, sadness, anxiety, and fear. Their emotions are real, and  need to be identified, acknowledged, and expressed. When faced with these, many  helpers are uncomfortable and wonder what they should say and do. Unfortunately, there is no universal right thing.  However, being present, speaking the truth, and listening actively are helpful. A gentle touch is often psychologically healing. Many dying persons are comforted by gently touching their wrist or arm, holding their hand, or hugging them.


Social Care

Every patient is assigned a social worker who visits at the time of admission to hospice. The Social Worker’s functions vary from providing superficial support to patients and families to intensive crisis-oriented counseling. Additionally, with a terminal illness often comes complicated financial stressors. The social worker can connect the patient and family with community resources. Lastly, if a patient is unable to be cared for at home, the social worker will work to find a safer place for the patient to receive hospice care.


Spiritual Care and Bereavement Counselor

While not every patient will see a Chaplain, Hospice provides regular and consistent Chaplain services. The Chaplain is non-denominational, and is available to provide spiritually  supportive counseling, and can connect a patient with clergy they are comfortable with.  Our Chaplain has a degree in Philosophy of Religions and over 25 years of Hospice experience and end of life/bereavement counseling.  He conducts periodic Grief  Support Groups, and also does individual grief counselling.

Annual Music Benefit

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