Our Resources

Our Resources

August 14, 2017

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.

When Grief Becomes a Mental Health Issue

August 14, 2017

What do you do when grief becomes a mental health issue? Recently I lost a friend to suicide, and it made me think of all the other losses I’ve suffered. Two memories stand out in my mind–the death of my maternal grandfather to cancer and the death of my paternal grandmother to a stroke. One was a mental health issue, the other was not. There are several things people can do when grief becomes a mental health issue.

Camp Erin® of the Central Valley Helps Children and Teens Cope with Grief

August 7, 2017

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

Camp Erin® of the Central Valley Helps Children and Teens Cope with Grief
Community Hospice offers free camp for grieving children and teens

August 7, 2017 (Modesto, CA) – Camp Erin of the Central Valley is a free bereavement camp for children and teens ages 6 to 17 that have experienced the death of someone close to them. In 2014, Community Hospice partnered with The Moyer Foundation to launch their inaugural Camp Erin® of the Central Valley. On June 8-11, 2017, 107 campers and over 60 volunteers and staff members from all over the Central Valley made their way to Foothill Horizons Outdoor School for the four-day grief camp. Foothill Horizons served as a new camp site this year due to an overwhelming community response and need for our children and teens in our communities.

“There is a great need for Camp Erin of the Central Valley and we are blessed to have been able to expand our program this year offering camp to more grieving kids in our community,” said Nancy Houghton, Camp Erin of the Central Valley Director. “Applications for camp have doubled since our first Camp Erin of the Central Valley in 2014. We are honored to be able to provide a healing camp experience and feel humbled to have so many dedicated community residents support our program.”

Led by professional grief counselors and trained volunteers, camp offers a fun environment, combined with planned grief activities that allow children a chance to express their feelings, make friendships with peers that have had similar life experiences and honor loved ones that are no longer with them. Camp provides a unique opportunity for youth to increase levels of hope, enhance self-esteem, and especially to learn that they are not alone.

As children grieve very differently than adults, Camp Erin of the Central Valley is designed to specifically address the needs of our youth. Through the generous support of our friends and neighbors in the community, Camp Erin of the Central Valley is offered free to all campers. To learn more about Camp Erin of the Central Valley visit camperincentralvalley.org or call 209.578.6300. For sponsorship opportunities contact the Community Hospice Foundation at 209.578.6370 or give.hospiceheart.org.

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, assisted living facilities and at the 16-bed inpatient Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Community Hospice also provides bereavement and grief support to anyone in the community. For more information please call 209.578.6300 or visit hospiceheart.org.

About The Moyer Foundation
The Moyer Foundation is a public, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to provide comfort, hope and healing to children and families affected by grief and addiction. Founded in 2000 by former MLB pitcher Jamie Moyer and child advocate Karen Phelps Moyer, The Moyer Foundation supports thousands of children and families each year through its free signature programs and services. Camp Erin® is the largest national bereavement program for children and teens grieving the death of someone significant in their lives and Camp Mariposa® is a national addiction prevention and mentoring program for youth impacted by a family member’s substance use disorder. The Moyer Foundation Resource Center extends The Foundation’s continuum of care by providing a curated set of online resources with personalized phone and email support for families experiencing grief, addiction and other related issues. For more information, please visit moyerfoundation.org
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Dementia Patients and Grief

July 31, 2017

The death of a loved one is difficult for anyone, but it is a special challenge when someone in the family has dementia. It’s hard for family members to know how and when to tell the person with dementia about the death. And what should they do when the person doesn’t remember?

Coping With a Child’s Illness While You’re in Recovery

July 24, 2017

Getting the news that your child is dangerously–perhaps even fatally–ill is one of the most difficult things any parent will ever go through. It is life-changing, and for many, it seems like a nearly impossible task to get through it without the help of drugs or alcohol to numb the pain. What those in recovery know, however, is that substances will only make things worse in the long run. They may provide temporary relief in the now, but later, the original issue is still there and is clouded by the shame or guilt that came with the substance abuse.

It’s a terrible thing, to watch a child go through an illness or deal with life-altering consequences, and it can lead to depression and other mood disorders very quickly. For that reason, it’s imperative to make a conscious decision now to learn coping methods that are healthy and don’t require a substance. It is possible, and with a little help, you can get through it.

Final Logistics: A step-by-step guide to handling a loved one’s belongings after their death

July 17, 2017

When someone passes away, they leave everything behind, including their belongings. It falls to the surviving loved ones to rehome or reorganize these items, from leftover food in the kitchen to linens in the closet. But remembering which housekeeping tasks need to get done among all the other final arrangements can feel overwhelming, and that’s not stress a grieving family should have to face.

The New Stages of Grief: 5 Tasks, No Timeline

July 10, 2017

What bereaved survivors wish they’d known about the grieving process

Bereaved people often brace for the so-called stages of grief, only to discover their own grieving process unfolds differently. The stages of grief — popularized from earlier theories put forth by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying, and later modified by others — initially described responses to terminal illness: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. While some find those responses relevant to coping with death, psychologists increasingly believe that the idea of “stages” oversimplifies a complex experience. And grieving survivors seem to agree.

A Collision of the Cost of Caring and Grief

June 28, 2017

“I’m exhausted and I just can’t seem to focus.” These are the words often spoken by many people who are experiencing grief in response to the loss of a loved one. However, these can also be some warning signs that a person may be experiencing the effects of Compassion Fatigue. Sometimes labeled “Vicarious Trauma”, Compassion Fatigue is defined as the “physical and mental exhaustion and emotional withdrawal experienced by those that care for sick or traumatized people over an extended period of time.”1 Often times a family member or a good friend takes on the role of caregiver for a person who is nearing the end of their life. As the days, weeks, months, and sometimes even years go by, the caregiver consistently and fully invests themselves into caring for their loved one. There is no question that the caregiver is an amazing blessing to the person. They have sacrificed their own desires and needs in order to care for their loved one with such devotion. However, while a caregiver may not notice it in the day to day moments, there is a cost for caring and the cost is often not realized until after a loved one has passed away. This is where the cost of caring and grief collide.

What to Watch For
While caregivers are often locked into survival mode and unable to recognize signs of Compassion Fatigue until after a loved one has passed, there are definitely some signs to be on the lookout for. When these signs are recognized, a caregiver can take preventive steps to care for themselves as well. Some common signs of Compassion Fatigue include:
• Exhaustion
• Reduced ability to feel sympathy and empathy
• Anger and irritability
• Increased use of alcohol and drugs
• Dreading caregiving responsibilities
• Disruption to world view, heightened anxiety or irrational fears
• Intrusive imagery or dissociation
• Hypersensitivity or insensitivity to emotional material
• Impaired ability to make decisions and care for a loved one
• Problems with intimacy and in personal relationships

What if it’s too late? What if grief and compassion fatigue and grief have already collided?
It is important to develop a plan if you realize that Compassion Fatigue is complicating your grief. Here are some steps you can take to begin to heal and recover from Compassion Fatigue:
• Find someone with whom you can share honestly and openly about your thoughts and feelings
• Remember that what you are feeling is normal in light of what you have been through
• Start exercising and eating properly
• Get enough sleep
• Find a support group where you can meet people with similar experiences of grief and loss
• Consider developing a new hobby
• Be intentional about scheduling time and space where you can physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually heal. Do this away from your normal environment if necessary.

Grief is a journey with no exact timeframe or road map. Grief is often a very difficult journey in itself with many ups, downs, and bumps along the way. When someone is experiencing the effects of Compassion Fatigue as they travel the road of grief, the journey can feel almost unbearable. If the cost of caring has collided with your grief, reach out for some support today. There are people out there who will walk alongside you and help to ease the pain you are experiencing. You are not alone.

Jeremy Brown, Community Hospice Bereavement Specialist

[1] “Compassion Fatigue.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 22 June 2017.

Sources:

www.counseling.org/docs/trauma-disaster/fact-sheet-9—vicarious-trauma.pdf?sfvrsn=2

www.compassionfatigue.org

healingrefuge.com/life-issues/compassion-fatigue-and-vicarious-trauma

The Great Gatsby Gala was Swinging Community Hospice Foundation 16th Annual Gala was a Success

May 30, 2017

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

The Great Gatsby Gala was Swinging
Community Hospice Foundation 16th Annual Gala was a Success

Modesto (May 30, 2017)–On May 20, 2017 over 600 community members gathered at the home of Agnes Timmerman in Oakdale for the 16th Annual Community Hospice Foundation Great Gatsby Gala. Guests enjoyed Live and Silent Auctions, a raffle, appetizers by Chef Michael Midgley, dinner by Greens and dancing to Modesto’s Third Party Band.

Several community members were recognized for their dedicated service and support in advancing the organization’s mission. Mr. Kenny and Pam Phillips alongside Mr. Ron and Pam Ridenour were awarded the John and June Rogers Philanthropic Award. The Phillips and the Ridenours embody the heart of hospice by giving and raising funds to assure that the mission of Community Hospice continues, regardless of the patient’s or family’s ability to pay. The Julio and Aileen Gallo Leadership Award was awarded to Mr. Jon Tremayne for his passionate commitment and enthusiastic leadership in guiding Community Hospice Foundation. The Harold A. Peterson, III Heart of Hospice Award was presented to Friends of Community Hospice member, Mrs. Sally Cofer-Lindberg for her long-standing commitment to the mission of Community Hospice.

More than $70,000 was raised during the Camp Erin of the Central Valley cash for the cause. Past camper Luke joined us and graciously shared his camp experience.

Community Hospice Foundation Executive Director, Monica Ojcius said, “We are thrilled with the outcome of the gala knowing the funds raised will be put to work immediately helping terminally ill patients and their families. It is truly humbling that so many people from our community joined us in support of the Community Hospice mission. We live in such a generous community and the dedication of our supporters is simply amazing. Community Hospice would not be able to provide the service and programs offered without their gifts and we are very grateful.”

The Great Gatsby Gala was a great success raising more than $300,000 to support the patients, families and programs of Community Hospice.

About Community Hospice Foundation
Community Hospice Foundation is a community-based nonprofit, raising awareness and funds to support the patients and families of Community Hospice.

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, assisted living facilities and at the 16-bed inpatient Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Community Hospice also provides bereavement and grief support to anyone in the community. For more information, please call (209) 578-6300 or visit hospiceheart.org.
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Suicide Support Resources

May 23, 2017

• 24/7 Crisis Hotline: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network
suicidepreventionlifeline.org
1-800-273-TALK (8255) (Veterans, Press 1)

• Crisis Text Line Text
“Start” to 741-741

• Suicide Prevention Resource Center
sprc.org

• My3 – Mobil Phone App
my3app.org

• National Organization for People of Color Against Suicide
nopcas.org

• American Association of Suicidology
suicidology.org

• Mental Health First Aid
MentalHealthFirstAid.org

• National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention
actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org

• Circles of Supports – Friends and Family of Suicide Attempt Survivors
circlesofsupports.org

• The Trevor Project – Assistance with young adults 13-24 years geared towards the LGBTQ Community who are at risk to death by suicide
thetrevorproject.org