Our Resources

Our Resources

October 9, 2018

 

It is human nature to share ideas and opinions with others. At times, it can be difficult to distinguishing the truth from an opinion freely given. Below are resources that may assist you in your personal growth along your grief journey. You determine, from what you learned if the information can assist you in your personal growth or not. The pain of grief comes in many different shades. As unique individuals we feel and respond differently. Discover your healing path with the help of a skilled grief counselor.

“Just as people do not live alike, they do not die alike. Death and dying occur in social context.”

– Cultural Competency in Grief and Loss, by Robin Florelli, MSW, LCSW, and Wanda Jenkins, MHS.

The resources provided below are a variety of recommended readings that may assist you or someone you love in the grieving process.

Community Hospice Celebrates National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and Expansion of Services to Include Community-Based Palliative Care Program

November 19, 2018

For Immediate Release
Contacts:
Kristin Mostowski | Director of Public Relations, Community Hospice | Kristin.Mostowski@hospiceheart.org | 209.578.6301

Community Hospice Celebrates National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and Expansion of Services to Include Community-Based Palliative Care Program

November is a month of many celebrations, including National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. For Community Hospice, it is a time we share our gra​titude with those that are important to us, our patients and families, community partners, staff and many volunteers. For nearly 40 years, we have been blessed to walk alongside our friends and neighbors as they face their end-of-life journey. Community Hospice has been dedicated to not only guiding and supporting those with a life-limiting illness; we have explored finding a way to support our community members that have a serious illness who also need guidance and support and are pleased to have expanded our services to include a community-based palliative care program. You may be asking, what does that mean and can it help me or my loved one?

In 1990, the World Health Organization defined palliative care “to address not only physical pain, but also emotional, social, and spiritual pain to achieve the best possible quality of life for patients and their families”. Sounds very similar to the definition of hospice, right? In an effort by hospice programs to increase access to care earlier in a patient’s illness journey, and for some to overcome the stigma of the word “hospice”, many hospices adopted the term “palliative care”. Over time, care models for both hospice and palliative care evolved along with the definition of palliative care.

Today, palliative care is defined by the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) as “specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family… Palliative Care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and can be provided along with curative treatment.”

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, founded in 1978, began as the National Hospice Organization. It was not until February of 2000 that they changed their name and logo to National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. This significant change catapulted the palliative care model into our healthcare system.

Palliative care is among one the fastest growing trends in healthcare today but is still vastly underutilized. Models include inpatient palliative care in hospitals, stand-alone or hospital-based palliative care clinics and community-based palliative care, or a combination of one or more of these. Interestingly though, Medicare does not reimburse for these services nor are there any federal or state regulations governing palliative care programs. California released guidelines only in preparation for the Medi-Cal palliative care benefit in late 2017.

“Palliative care is quickly growing and Community Hospice is proud to have expanded our services to include the only community-based palliative care program available to residents of Stanislaus and Merced counties,” shared C. Desha McLeod, President/CEO of Community Hospice. “Our palliative care program is another way we are able to continue to meet the needs of our community members, helping fulfil our mission of providing compassionate and quality care, education and support to community members in their time of need.”

Community Hospice entered the palliative care arena when an opportunity arose to participate in a pilot project with a local Managed Medi-Cal plan in late 2016. After acceptance into the pilot, a Director of Palliative Care was hired and our palliative care team began to take shape. On July 17, 2017, we admitted our first palliative care patient into the pilot project. Since that date, California’s Medi-Cal benefit became effective on January 1, 2018 providing for reimbursement to state licensed hospice agencies, or home health agencies also licensed as a hospice, for palliative care services and care to their members.

In July 2018, we joined the Palliative Care Quality Network (PCQN) based out of University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Monthly, our palliative care data is submitted to PCQN. As we gain history, we will have access to benchmarking data which will be utilized to further develop our palliative care model.

On September 28, 2018, Community Hospice was awarded a $100,000 grant to provide palliative care services to individuals in a specific 17 zip code area, mainly the southern part of Stanislaus County. These funds will be used for palliative care services to those without a payor source.

“We are grateful for all those that have provided us guidance and support as we developed our palliative care program and feel blessed to be able to help more people in our community in their time of need,” shared DeSha McLeod.

For more information about Community Hospice services, contact 209.578.6340 or visit hospiceheart.org.

About Community Hospice
Community Hospice is a nonprofit, community based hospice agency, serving the San Joaquin Valley since 1979. Community Hospice provides compassionate and quality care, education and support to terminally ill patients and their families, regardless of the ability to pay. Care extends to more than 2000 patients each year in private homes, skilled nursing facilities, retirement communities and at the 16-room Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Community Hospice also provides grief support services to anyone in the community at no cost. For more information call (209) 578-6300 or visit hospiceheart.org.
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Community Hospice Recognizes Children’s Grief Awareness Day

November 13, 2018

For Immediate Release
Contacts:
Kristin Mostowski | Director of Public Relations, Community Hospice | Kristin.Mostowski@hospiceheart.org | 209.578.6301

Community Hospice Recognizes Children’s Grief Awareness Day

Modesto, CA (November 13, 2018) – On November 15, 2018, Community Hospice will recognize and honor Children’s Grief Awareness Day, a day of advocacy that aims to raise awareness and support for grieving children and teens across the United States. Children’s Grief Awareness Day was established in 2008 with the goal to educate and increase awareness of the needs of grieving children, as well as the benefits they may obtain through community resources.

Children and teens who have experienced the death of a close loved one often feel like their struggles are invisible to all around them. Often they are left feeling lost, alone, different from their peers and misunderstood. Grief education and support is beneficial in helping children and teens understand their feelings are normal and they are not alone. Support allows for the opportunity to share with peers that have gone through similar circumstances, learn healthy ways to express their loss and normalize their grief, as well as explore the tools needed to memorialize their loved one and more forward.

“The children and teens in our community are our future. At Community Hospice we are passionate about helping our community members as they travel their grief journey, providing resources to support them during such a difficult time,” shared C. DeSha McLeod, President/CEO Community Hospice. “We are honored to offer specialized programs for children and teens to help them along their path. Individual and group grief support, onsite school children’s grief support and Camp Erin® of the Central Valley are all available, at no cost to the family.”

We invite our community to support Children’s Grief Awareness Day on November 15, 2018 by wearing BLUE and joining us on Community Hospice Social Media using #CGADHOPE. To learn more about Children’s Grief Awareness Day, visit heal.hospiceheart.org or call the Community Hospice Children’s Grief Support Services at 209.578.6300.

About Community Hospice
Community Hospice is a nonprofit, community based hospice agency, serving the San Joaquin Valley since 1979. Community Hospice provides compassionate and quality care, education and support to terminally ill patients and their families, regardless of the ability to pay. Care extends to more than 2000 patients each year in private homes, skilled nursing facilities, retirement communities and at the 16-room Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Community Hospice also provides grief support services to anyone in the community at no cost. For more information call (209) 578-6300 or visit hospiceheart.org.
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Modesto Threshold Singers Provide Comfort and Ease for Dying Patients

October 18, 2018

For Immediate Release
Contacts:
Kristin Mostowski | Director of Public Relations, Community Hospice | Kristin.Mostowski@hospiceheart.org | 209.578.6301

Modesto Threshold Singers Provide Comfort and Ease for Dying Patients

MODESTO, CA (October 18, 2018) – Beautiful songs filled the family gathering areas at the Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House on October 11, 2018 as the newly formed Modesto Threshold Singers made their inaugural performance. Their short, heartfelt songs lifted spirits and drew warm smiles from those that were present.

The Modesto Threshold Singers is one of more than 200 world-wide Threshold Choirs dedicated to creating moments of ease and comfort for patients, families and caregivers facing an illness. The local Modesto Threshold chapter was formed by a group of friends who had experienced a series of loss. It was their journey that inspired them to want to bring comfort and ease to others as they navigate their end of life journey. Songs include words of love, gratitude and peace.

“It was a great honor for our Alexander Cohen Hospice House to be chosen as the venue for the Modesto Threshold Singers first appearance. Their presence and sweet, soft voices were endearing and comforting to our patients and families,” said Kristin Mostowski, Director of Public Relations. “Their talent and grace provides another level of compassion, we feel beyond blessed they will be sharing their gift of song with us on a regular basis.”

The Modesto Threshold Singers welcome new members to their chapter. To learn more, visit //thresholdchoir.org/Modesto or email ModestoThresholdSingers@gmail.com. For more information about the Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House visit hospiceheart.org or call 209.578.6340.

About Community Hospice

Community Hospice is the largest and oldest nonprofit hospice agency in the Central Valley. Serving the community since 1979, Community Hospice has cared for thousands of friends and neighbors offering compassionate and quality care, education and support to terminally ill patients and families, regardless of ability to pay. Care extends to over 2000 patients each year in private homes, skilled nursing facilities, retirement communities and at the 16-bed inpatient Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Community Hospice also provides grief support services to anyone in the community. For more information, please call 209. 578.6300 or visit hospiceheart.org.

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Remember Me

August 7, 2018

You can shed tears that she is gone,
or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her,
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her only that she is gone,
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back.
Or you can do what she’d want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

– David Harkins

Keys to Healthy Living: Friendship and Purpose*

July 30, 2018

Changes in lifestyle and outlook can affect longevity!

As we think about the prospect of living longer, millions of us are taking more responsibility for our own health. We’re realizing that the choices we make each day are more important than an occasional visit to the doctor’s office.

As a result, we are seeking more and better information to help us make healthier decisions, and tools for lifestyle changes that lead us toward physical and mental fitness and enhance our well-being, not just treating our ailments.

We also need to focus on things like building strong social connections and reducing loneliness and social isolation, realizing a sense of purpose, and developing a more positive, optimistic outlook on aging. Social connections are important to your health. People with close friend relationships are more likely to get plenty of sleep, eat healthy foods, maintain peace of mind and have less stress, engage in brain health activities and take on new challenges and hobbies.

Loneliness is the new smoking – according to one researcher, it is equally as bad for you as inhaling 15 cigarettes each day. Studies show that loneliness can shave eight (8) years off life expectancy, and that it has a big negative effect on quality of life. The mortality risk for loneliness is greater than that of obesity. Social isolation of older adults is associated with an estimated $6.7 billion in additional Medicare spending annually. Here in the United States, Care More, based in California, became the first U.S. health care provider group to directly address loneliness and its impact on health.

Having a purpose in life is also important to health and is a key factor to aging successfully. A sense of purpose for many is more important than making money, and it’s associated with a wide range of better health outcomes. Evidence shows that optimism about aging has an impact on our health, adding 7.5 years to our lives. Those with an upbeat view of aging are more likely to fully recover from severe disabilities, have a larger hippocampus (a part of the brain that affects memory), show less anatomical evidence of Alzheimer’s on an MRI, and have up to an 80% lower risk of a cardiovascular event.

We are discovering that changes in lifestyle and medical advances can increase our life span and shrink the number of years spent with a disability. But it’s also vital that we have something to get us up in the morning and someone to share our lives with – and approach each day with a smile.

*Excerpts from the June 2018 AARP Bulletin