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Bereavement Services Set Hospice Care Apart

posted by Lisa Ryan on Friday, June 12, 2020

Cindy Meek

By Cindy Meek
WesleyLife Hospice Bereavement Coordinator

Wesley Hospice services are focused on caring for our clients and their families, but many people are not aware that our services don’t end when a client dies. In fact, in many cases, When a WesleyLife Hospice patient dies, our care for his or her family is just beginning.

Typically, we meet a client’s loved ones as the client is dying. It’s an emotional time, and the focus is naturally on the person who is ill. Our team offers services to loved ones during that process, and we let them know the services that are available after their family member passes. But it’s common for a person not to realize until the person has died that they need some support.

The WesleyLife Hospice team is made up of many people, each of whom brings a special skill to the clients we serve – from our nurses to our volunteers, from our social worker to our chaplains. We focus on personalized care, and on helping to find ways to make each day meaningful for those who give us the privilege of being with them as they are nearing the end of life.

Bereavement services are a central part of what we offer – but our bereavement services are not clinical counseling. Our focus is on grief. People need a place to talk about a loved one who has died, and we are here to provide that space, to listen, and to encourage people to reflect and reminisce.

Here is how our services work:

  • Before a client passes away, I will have been in contact with the family member who has been designated to receive information. Even if he or she does not need my services at that time, I want to be sure to introduce myself and let that person know that I am a resource.
  • Immediately after the death of a client, we make sure to obtain information about the funeral or memorial service, if there is to be one, and at least one member of our team attends.
  • Soon after the funeral, I reach out to the contact person to let him or her know that we provide a full year of grief support at no charge – everything from regular phone calls to conference calls with other family members to support groups.
  • I then work with the person to create his or her own care plan for the coming year, and we watch that take shape and adjust as necessary. And we provide concrete touchpoints throughout the year, such as newsletters and a letter on the anniversary of the loved one’s death.

I’ve been asked what makes WesleyLife Hospice so special – what sets us apart. It is, by all means, our network of support services; from home health to meals to transportation, we can help clients and families who need us in any number of ways. It’s also that those of us in Hospice truly work as a team. We support one another daily as we live out the WesleyLife mission, vision, and values.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if I, or any member of our team, can be of help. You can find me at cmeek@wesleylife.org, or (515) 314-6650. It would be our privilege to serve you!

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