An urgent message regarding COVID-19 and hospice patients
The COVID-19 crisis has hit us all hard. Our world today looks very different than what it was a few short (but oh, they have felt long) months ago.
We have scrambled to get the equipment our staff, patients and their families need—often paying higher prices than normal to make sure that our staff, patients and their families are safe.
The community has stepped up. Dentists and veterinarians have donated masks, recognizing that our staff are in desperate need of them. Within a few days, hospice volunteers had sewn more than 1,000 masks to be distributed to our staff, patients and their families.
We have seen a sudden surge in the number of patients relying on our care—relying on you. This surge is stretching our resources but you can help (click here to help).
These patients and their families are coming to us fearful—afraid that they aren’t going to get the care that they need because of the effects that this pandemic is having on our healthcare system.
I am writing to you because you can assure that they have the care that they need.
Hospice patients are still receiving care in their own homes. This protects them and their caregivers from having to go out to the doctors’ offices and hospitals where they might come in contact with the virus. By offering them hospice care right now, you are offering them peace of mind during this extraordinarily difficult time.
Not only are our patients receiving nursing and personal care in their own homes, but our care teams have taken a crash course in telemedicine, reaching out to patients and their families in new ways. Our social workers have even made visits through the window, witnessing final documents and helping families to cope with these challenging times.
To protect our volunteers, we’ve suspended volunteer services, so we’ve had members of our marketing team sit with patients while their caregivers went to necessary doctors’ appointments. With your support, you’ll be sitting right there with our patients.
Our patients are frightened that their caregiver will get the virus and be unable to care for them or that they themselves will get it and give it to their families. You can help protect them. When we’re handing out masks and gloves to our patients’ caregivers, you can be right there with us. Helping to keep their caregivers healthy so that they continue to care for their loved ones.
During this time of loss when grieving seems put on hold because we can’t get together to celebrate the lives of our loved ones, our staff have stepped up to make sure that all of our patients’ lives are honored.
Our chief financial officer, Walt DeWalt, and one of our chaplains, Wayne Clark, who are both veterans, are p
erforming all veteran honor ceremonies at the inpatient facility—no matter the time of day or night. This ceremony
recognizes a patient’s military service at the time of his or her passing.
Our chaplains are doing many more graveside services for patients and families as traditional funerals are being delayed, and our grief support counselors have moved to seeing people through video conferencing.
You can step up, too.
We know that there is still uncertainty in the time ahead. We pray that the pandemic is declining but we know we have not seen the last of its effects and the fear and heartache it is causing our patients and their families.
It will only take a moment to make an online donation (click here). This is an urgent request that can’t be put off until tomorrow. Our patients need the extra support today in the midst of this crisis.
If you cannot help us financially at this time, we certainly understand as we are all feeling this crisis in different ways. We would greatly appreciate your prayers and good thoughts.
Thank you for your compassion toward our patients and their families. Most of us can’t imagine what they are going through right now.
Margaret Cogswell, RN
P.S. You can reach out to hospice patients and their families right now at www.hospiceotp.org/donate. Thank you!