“A study explained why some elderly couples pass away only a short time apart. It’s a story that’s familiar and sad, if completely romantic: one half of an elderly couple passes away, and the partner follows soon after…”-Southern Living
“The new year is a marker in time. As we transition from 2021 into 2022, some of you may be feeling ambivalent. Part of you may be digging in your heels, while another part can’t wait for this challenging year to end.”- mindfulnessandgrief.com
“ The “Season of Family” provides us an opportunity to celebrate and remember those loved ones who have been important to us. During the season, we have an opportunity to decide as family units to hold on to past traditions that have been important to us, to let go of the traditions that are no longer feasible, and to create new traditions that honor the past as well as move us forward as a family. This holiday toolkit is provided with the hopes it will provide ideas and inspiration for families to celebrate loved ones, those present and those who have died.”-NACG
December 13, 2021
Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of American adults say that the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for increased bereavement support, a report from the New York Life Foundation finds.
Based on a survey of more than forty-three hundred adults conducted in September, The State of Grief Report: COVID-19’s Impact on Bereavement Support in America (20 pages, PDF) found that 65 percent of respondents who had lost a loved one to COVID-19 weren’t able to grieve in person with family and friends. And despite 63 percent of those who lost someone to COVID-19 reporting that they were now more open to talking about death and loss, 52 percent did not seek out grief support during the pandemic. According to the report, 79 percent of those who had lost a loved one and 71 percent of all respondents said they wanted a more open, national dialogue about death and loss; 51 percent said the pandemic had prompted such conversations with friends and/or family; and 54 percent of parents of school-age children said they had had such conversations with their children. Yet 26 percent of all respondents were unaware of any bereavement services available to them.
The survey also found that, while only 28 percent of employed respondents were aware of the grief support and /or bereavement resources offered by their workplace and 30 percent were unsure of their employers’ bereavement leave policy, about two-thirds expressed interest in paid (67 percent), extended (66 percent), or flexible (65 percent) bereavement leave. Among parents of school-age children, 61 percent said COVID-19 has opened their eyes to the need for more grief support services in school, 69 percent agreed that grief support should be a priority for schools, and 71 percent wanted schools to give them more information and guidance on how they can help their children through traumatic events. Types of support parents saw as top priorities for schools were encouraging peer-to-peer support (79 percent), proactive communication to parents and guardians about available resources and support (79 percent), resources for students about death and grief (79 percent), access or referrals to grief counseling (78 percent), and training for educators on providing grief support (78 percent).
“We know that families in under-resourced communities and Black and/or Latino youth have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 -related deaths,” said Julie Kaplow, executive director of the Trauma and Grief Center at the Hackett Center for Mental Health in Houston and executive director of the Trauma and Grief Center at Children’s Hospital New Orleans. “Unfortunately, these are often the same children and families who have already suffered from prior traumas and losses, making the additional deaths due to the pandemic even more impactful.”
“Historically, we have been a grief-averse society, but our survey indicates that the pandemic may prove to be an inflection point, dramatically underscoring the need for more grief awareness, understanding, and dialogue,” said New York Life Foundation president Heather Nesle. “We all need to embrace this moment to encourage open conversations and practical supports — at home, in school, and in the workplace — so people will be properly prepared, cared for, and supported when a loved one dies.”(Photo credit: GettyImages/fizkes)
“The State of Grief Report: COVID-19’s Impact on Bereavement Support in America.” New York
Life Foundation report 12/08/2021.”New York Life Foundation’s inaugural ‘State of Grief’
report: Americans want a more open dialogue around death and loss.” New York Life
Foundation press release 12/08/2021.
Subjects: Children / Youth; COVID19; Education; Mental Health
People: Heather Nesle; Julie Kaplow
Organization: New York Life Foundation
For Immediate Release
Contacts: Kristin Mostowski, Director of Public Relations | Community Hospice | Kristin.Mostowski@hospiceheart.org | 209.578.6301
Community Hospice Announces Resignation of President/CEO C. DeSha McLeod Modesto, CA (September 29, 2021) – The Community Hospice, Inc. Board of Directors announced the resignation of Ms. C. DeSha McLeod as President/CEO effective Friday, September 24, 2021.
Ms. McLeod has made the difficult decision to pursue a new opportunity out of state which allows her to be closer to her family. She shared, “It has been an honor to serve as the leader of Community Hospice and its affiliates these past years. I am truly grateful for my time and the opportunity to work with the amazing staff, volunteers and Boards in service to our community. I am most proud of Community Hospice being awarded one of the Best Places to Work in the Central Valley for four consecutive years.”
She joined Community Hospice in 2013 and during her eight-year tenure Ms. McLeod guided her staff to successfully develop, expand and implement the following:
- Community Care Choices, a palliative care program focused on enhancing quality of life for individuals facing a serious illness.
- Expansion of specialized Pediatric Care Programs, offering hospice and palliative care services to children and families in our community.
- Camp Erin® of the Central Valley, a grief camp for children and teens ages 6-17 who have experienced the loss of someone close.
- Hope Counseling, therapeutic support for individuals with family, mental health and behavioral issues.
- Expansion of Retail Operations opening Hope Chest Thrift Store locations in Stockton and Turlock.
- Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software, communication platforms and other technological efficiencies.“On behalf of the members of the Community Hospice Board, we share our gratitude for DeSha’s invaluable contribution and dedication to the mission of the organization,” said Mrs. Susan Donker, Community Hospice Board Chair. “We support her decision and wish her the very best in all of her future endeavors.”Mr. John Renner, Director of Operations has been named Interim President/CEO effective immediately. Mr. Renner has been employed with Community Hospice for more than 18 years and serves as a member of the Senior Leadership team.
“The Board has complete confidence in John as the Interim President/CEO,” added Mrs. Donker. “Along with John’s dedication and years of service at Community Hospice he has proven sound judgement, outstanding performance and compassion for the mission.”
The Board has appointed a selection committee to spearhead the recruitment of a new President/CEO.
About Community Hospice
Community Hospice is the oldest and largest nonprofit hospice agency in the Central Valley. Serving thecommunity since 1979, Community Hospice has cared for thousands of friends and neighbors, embracing individuals and families facing life-changing journeys, enhancing quality of life for all. Care extends to more than 2,000 patients each year in private homes, skilled nursing facilities, retirement communities and at the 16-bed inpatient Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Community Hospice also provides bereavement and grief support to anyone in the community. For more information, call 209.578.6300 or visit hospiceheart.org.
“As her sun faded and became a star, we found comfort knowing that, even though she was more distant than we’d ever like, she would always be present in the night sky. And bit by bit, we moved forward, we realigned, and we learned to love her despite her physical absence.” -What’s Your Grief
“Sharing the news of the person’s death is only the beginning of the conversation. The child may not be ready or able to ask questions or respond right away to the news of the death. Children respond to death very differently than adults.”- National Alliance for Grieving Children