Around this time every year, people all over the country are making plans on how they will celebrate Valentine’s Day. Some choose to buy candy or flowers, give gifts big and small, or do the tried and true dinner and a movie with their loved one. It is during this season of love that my thoughts turn to those in hospice care patients and others in need. At Hospice Care Atlanta, caring people often volunteer during the holidays. Our staff appreciates the time and commitment that each of our volunteers gives during the busy holiday season. What we have realized is that once that season is over, our volunteer numbers decrease. But, it doesn’t have to be that way! We have several suggestions for people to stay involved in volunteering during the Valentine’s Day season.
Think back to elementary school when Valentine’s Day was something everyone enjoyed together. It was a very special day where people exchanged pre-made cards and candy with everyone in their class. Because we want this day to be as special to our patients as it was when they were children, our staff has come up with some unique ways to celebrate. Just a few of the ways we celebrate include:
We understand that it can be easy to feel resentful or sad on Valentine’s Day if your loved one is in hospice care. However, we are here to fill your loved one’s days with joy. We recognize that when you have spent time with a family member or friend in hospice care, you often develop a bond and connection that transcends seemingly superficial gifts or expressions of love like teddy bears, cards or boxes of chocolates. Still, volunteering in atlanta hospice care can help you realize how much the little things matter to our patients.
Of course, you have a choice in what to do on this special day. You may decide to ignore the holiday altogether, avoiding all the fanfare in the weeks leading up to the big day. However, if you prefer to take the more proactive approach, you can use the day as a way to share love, gratitude, and kindness with other people in your life. As well, you can choose to honor someone who has been a big influence or help in your life.
Of course, you can volunteer at a hospice site too. Many times our patients long to celebrate everyday events like Valentine’s Day just like everyone else. You can always send cards to our patients just to add sunshine to their day. If you are not up for a visit to the hospice site, that is perfectly fine. Find a homeless shelter to lend your time or visit kids in the hospital on this special day. No matter what you choose, you will be sure to find meaning in what could otherwise, be a painful, long-suffering day.
Volunteering is one of those things that gives people a sense of accomplishment and pride. And it should! If you are looking for new volunteer opportunities in the Atlanta area, then becoming a volunteer for Hospice Care Atlanta might be for you. Volunteers play an essential role for hospice care staff and patients.. Here are just a few of the ways you can help as a volunteer.
These volunteers are the most common in nursing homes and hospice care facilities. They are assigned to help patients and their families. Some volunteer duties may include doing crossword puzzles, reading with a patient, or simply taking a walk around the facility with a patient. The time commitment can be shorter or longer, but the goal is always the same: to be of service to a patient and their family. Your presence and support will mean a great deal to them and to the hospice staff working with them as well.
One critical function that Hospice Care Atlanta (hospicecareatlanta.com) provides is support to the bereaved. We offer the opportunity for volunteers to serve the bereaved in a variety of ways as well including:
For those volunteers who prefer to work in an office setting, you can volunteer with us. Our staff loves clerical help. You can do anything from answering telephones and inputting data (consistent with HIPAA guidelines and restrictions), to filing, and general office assistance. For more information, contact us here.
Volunteers are important to hospice patients and their families, especially during the holiday season. They give support and a unique perspective that can enhance a patient's quality of life. As well, volunteers can give family members much needed break at times. Everyone has something special they can contribute as a hospice volunteer. The Hospice Care Atlanta team welcomes new volunteers year-round, but we especially love to see you during the holidays.
If you or your loved ones would like to volunteer with us this holiday season, here are some basic volunteering requirements you should know.
You must be able to:
Some people worry that they will not be equipped to deal with the psychosocial, spiritual and medical aspects of volunteering at an end-of-life facility. However, our dedicated staff of trains volunteers in all aspects of what to expect. Some of the things we cover in training include what to expect in a hospice setting, from individual patients and more. Also, we review in-depth scenarios. For example, we let volunteers know that it is okay to hold patients’ hands or give them hugs. However, dispensing medicine or any other health procedure can only be done by a trained, qualified staff member employed by Hospice Care Atlanta.
If you have a special skill, such as music or art therapy, please feel free to contact us regarding volunteer opportunities. Our staff will review requirements with you and set up a time for specialized training.
If you have recently had a loved one in hospice care, the Hospice Care Atlanta Team would love to have you. However, out of respect for the grieving process, we also ask that you wait at least 6 months have passed to begin hospice volunteering.
We value your time this holiday season. Once you sign up to volunteer with us, there is no set amount that you must commit to on a weekly or daily basis. We just ask that you keep the time you scheduled or inform us in advance if there are any changes. Our patients love to see you and we want to make sure we do everything we can to ensure a good volunteer match.
Contact us by filling out the form to get more information on volunteering with the Hospice Care Atlanta team this holiday season.
We have a diagnosis. Now what?
If you or anyone else you know, family member, friend, or even co-worker, has received a diagnosis that may require hospice care, give the Hospice Care Atlanta team a call at 404-879-5191. If you are not personally in need of end-of-life- care services but know someone who is, you can make a referral to the Hospice Care Atlanta team as well. Making the first call to a hospice care facility can be a scary thing if you are not prepared with some questions to help choose the best hospice care service for your loved ones. That is why our team put together some basic questions to help you navigate the world of hospice care.
Who can use hospice services?
People of all ages, including children, can receive hospice care.
Why should I consider hospice care?
Hospice care does not provide patients with a cure for their ailment. As a result, many families tend to delay decision-making regarding hospice care treatment because some see it as the “final” stop. However, that is not what hospice is about. Hospice gives people with terminal illnesses the chance to make decisions about how they want to live the remainder of their lives. It is unique because families participate heavily and are central to a patient’s care. Pain management is key and together with medical staff and family members, a hospice team focuses on helping patients live a full life for as much time as they have left.
Can I use my own medical team?
We know that by the time patients come to us, they have developed trusted relationships with their own medical team. The Hospice Care Atlanta team is happy to make your doctor a part of our team. Our medical professionals will communicate and work with your doctor every step of the way to ensure continuity of care.
Will I lose my autonomy as a hospice care patient?
Absolutely not! Hospice care patients are not required to be homebound or confined to a facility. Care can be provided in many ways, including at home or in a facility. However, our team believes that end-of-life care means helping you live the rest of your life to the fullest. Our patients are encouraged to go places and engage in activities brings them happiness. As long as you are up to it, we support extracurricular activities.
Who pays for hospice care?
There are many ways to afford hospice services. You can read more about hospice care payment options here or call our team to discuss your options.
How can I choose a quality hospice care facility?
First, make sure any facility you consider for hospice care has met the state licensure requirements for operations. Also, if a hospice you are researching is not approved for Medicare reimbursements, that is a bad sign. That’s because hospice facilities must periodically undergo review to ensure they are meeting regulatory standards necessary to maintain their license to operate and keep the certification permitting Medicare reimbursement.
Next, take a tour! Consult with hospice administrators and staff to learn more about any facility you are considering. Staff are accustomed to allowing potential patients and family members into their hospice before they make their final decision. Also, many facilities have customer service and satisfaction survey results on-hand for families to review. To assist families in determining whether or not hospice programs are delivering quality care and service, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization created the ‘Standards of Practice for Hospice Programs’. You can learn more about that program here.
If you are in need of hospice care services or know of someone who does, call our referral line 404-879-5191 or fill out our online form. One of the friendly Hospice Care Atlanta team members will be happy to contact you and answer any questions you have.
When you think of hospice care, do you immediately imagine elderly adults receiving end-of-life care? If so, then you are not alone. However, there are teenagers and young adults who require hospice care every day. Where do they go for palliative care in Atlanta? Luckily, the Hospice Care Atlanta team can help families with young adults in need of hospice care.
Hospice care for young adults is very similar to hospice care for older adults. Ultimately, the care is designed to meet the unique needs of the patient and their family. Services including pain management and counseling are available to keep patients comfortable and help them deal with their end-of-life transition.
In Atlanta, hospice care for young adults and teens can present unique difficulties. For example, even though most hospice care patients face the same end-of-life challenges, young adults can face social struggles during their time of care. That is because the hospice environment is often geared toward a much older demographic or designed to accommodate young children. Finding the right hospice care facility in Atlanta for your young adult will require you to consider the following:
Hospice care for young adults can be tricky to navigate. However, we can help. If you have a young adult or teen in need of hospice care, call the Hospice Care Atlanta team 24-hours a day, 7 days a week at 404-879-5191. Or, you can leave your information and one of our dedicated professionals will get back to you within 24 hours.