Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley invites community members to join them for their quarterly book discussion group. The next group will be held in April 2018. Please check back for a date and the book to be discussed!
Each year, Hospice offers a special opportunity for community members to honor their loved ones while supporting the work we do. Throughout the holiday season, the Hospice Memory Trees will be on display at our office building. Hundreds of names will be listed on stars that lovingly blanket the Trees. We invite you to be a part of this thoughtful remembrance by sending the names of your loved ones and a small donation to support Hospice services in St. Lawrence County.
Those wishing to view the Memory Trees are invited to the Hospice Center Monday through Friday from 8am until 4:30pm. To purchase your star online, please click here or for more information on purchasing a star in memory of your loved one please contact Kellie Hitchman or Samantha Jones at 315-265-3105.
There are many misconceptions about hospice care. Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley is happy to debunk a few of these common myths:
Myth #1: Hospice is a place
Fact: Hospice care takes place wherever the need exists, most often in a person’s home. About 70% of hospice care takes place where the person lives. Hospice can also serve patients in Nursing Homes and hospitals.
Myth#2: Hospice is only for the last days of life
Fact: Patients and their families can receive hospice care for 6 months or longer, depending on the course of the illness. Hospice care is most beneficial when utilized early.
Myth #3: Hospice is only for the elderly
Fact: Hospice serves anyone facing a life-limiting illness, regardless of age, including infants and children. Almost 20% of hospice patients are under the age of 65.
Myth #4: Hospice is only for people with cancer.
Fact: More than half of hospice patients nation-wide have a diagnosis other than cancer, including end-stage chronic diseases such as emphysema, COPD, CHF, ALS and even Alzheimer’s.
Myth#5: Hospice care is expensive
Fact: Hospice is a Medicare benefit that covers virtually all hospice services. Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley never turns a patient away due to inability to pay. This means there are no financial burdens incurred by the family in contrast to the huge financial expenses at the end of life which may be incurred when hospice is not used.
Myth #6: Choosing hospice means giving up all medical treatment
Fact: The reality is that hospice places the individual and family at the center of the care-planning process and provides high-quality pain and symptom management.
Myth #7: You can’t keep your own doctor if you choose hospice care
Fact: Hospice physicians and nurses work closely with the patient’s primary care physician to determine an individualized plan of care.
Myth #8: Hospice care starts when someone is close to dying and ends at death
Fact: The focus of hospice care starts at the time of diagnosis or acute phase of the terminal illness and extends beyond the patient’s death to include bereavement care and grief support for the family. Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley is open to anyone in the community to provide grief support, whether the loss is a hospice death or not.
Myth #9: I’m not dying so it’s too early to talk to my family about my end of life wishes.
Fact: It is never too early to let your loved ones know your end-of-life wishes. Having an Advanced Directive, living will or other documentation in place long before it is needed will save you and your family much anxiety and ensure a better quality of care that meets your needs and wishes. Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley provides education on starting this conversation and can assist you in completing advanced care planning forms.
Myth #10: Hospice means giving up and is for when there is no hope.
Fact: Hospice redefines hope and helps patients and their families reclaim the spirit of life. Hospice care focuses on improving the patient’s quality of life, allowing them to make the most of the time they have. When death is in sight, there are 2 options: submit without hope or live life as fully as possible until the very end. The gift of hospice is its capacity to help families see how much can be shared at the end of life through personal and spiritual connections. Family member often look back upon their hospice experience with gratitude and with the knowledge that everything possible was done towards a peaceful death.
Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley would like to extend out sincerest thank you to all those who helped make the 1st Annual Dueling Pianos for Hospice event such a great success. We were thrilled to bring this new entertainment experience to our community at Cheel Arena on June 2nd. As promised, the evening was full of great music, laughs and pure entertainment. The performers from Cutting Edge Dueling Pianos embraced the North Country atmosphere and played a wide variety of requests. It was remarkable to see such a diverse group of people come out to support Hospice! More than 340 guests could be seen singing, clapping and dancing as they enjoyed the show.
Thanks to the generosity and support of numerous businesses, community members, volunteers and staff, the event helped to raise more than $8,000 to support the services and programs offered by Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley. Each day, Hospice cares for an average of 75 patients and their families in their greatest time of need. The care we provide is part of a highly-regulated insurance benefit. While Hospice is reimbursed for the services we are required to provide, the standard of care we maintain leaves a substantial deficit between what is reimbursed and the actual cost of care provided to our patients and their families. Thanks to special events like this, the gap in funding is not only bridged, but allows Hospice the ability to provide extra programs and services to community members that are otherwise unfunded.
Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley would like to thank our Corporate Sponsors; Donaldson-Seymour Funeral Home (Potsdam) and Donaldson Funeral Home (Massena), B.P.O. Elks Lodge #2074, Advanced Business Systems, Coakley’s Carpet One ACE Hardware, Casella Waste Systems, County Seat Realty, J.E. Sheehan Contracting and Clarkson University Campus Safety for their generous support as corporate sponsorships are an essential element to the success of our events.
An additional raffle was offered during the event. The additional revenue raised from raffle prizes is used to fund our programs and services and offers an extra, fun way for guests to get involved. Hospice would like to thank the follow businesses and individuals who contributed prized to this year’s raffle: Brick & Mortar Music, Adirondack Fragrance Farm, Coakley’s Carpet One ACE Hardware, Potsdam Agway, Partridge Run Golf & Country Club, C.J. Kegs Cases and More, Scott’s Auto Center, BTB Pools, Lowes Home Improvement Store #2250, Sheila’s Nail Spa, Beast Fitness, Hospice Management Team, Hospice Family Support Services Department, Hospice Nursing Department, and several other Hospice Staff and Friends.
The immense response from the community to this new event was astounding. When Hospice began the planning process to bring a dueling pianos show to the North Country, we did so with modest expectations. We never imagined that in its first year the event would far exceed those expectations! We can’t wait to bring the show back to Cheel Arena next June!
On behalf of everyone at Hospice,
Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley is once again presenting the Caring for the Caregiver Health Fair to the community. The 4th annual resource event for those providing care for a friend or loved one is scheduled for Thursday, June 8th from 11:00-3:00pm at the Hospice Center in Potsdam. The theme this year is Mapping the Caregiver Highway with many resources to assist caregivers along their journey. “This event has been very well received and has grown significantly over the last three years, in terms of both vendors providing information and with more caregivers and community members attending” said Mary Jones, Director of Family Support Services for Hospice. “For some time now, we have recognized the need to provide additional support to caregivers, not just of our Hospice patients, but anyone in the community who has taken on this important role” she continued. Following the initial event in 2014, a need to help educate caregivers and provide them with support was identified. Hospice offered a series of three educational sessions which covered a variety of topics. Group attendance and interest demonstrated the need to continue with monthly meetings. “We saw regular attendance from community members who needed resources and education, but most of all support” said group facilitator Nancy Vosbrink who is the Outreach Coordinator for Hospice. “Its important they know others are experiencing similar situations. They offer unique perspectives to one another.” “Many times caregivers don’t see simple acts such as providing transportation to appointments, helping to manage medications, meal preparation or checking in on a friend, neighbor or loved one as caregiving” said Ms. Jones. “The reality is, they are taking time out of their own life to make sure their loved one is safe; that’s caregiving. We know this is an extremely important role, but understand it can cause difficulty in other aspects of life for the caregiver. They are not alone in providing care, there are countless resources throughout St. Lawrence County ready to help” she continued. There are more than 20 vendors lined up to participate in the 2017 event and will include additional vendors to address an added caregiver wellness component. In addition, free health screenings will be provided by local hospitals. Door prizes will be raffled. The Caregiver Support Group meets the second Thursday of the month from 3:00pm to 4:00pm at the Hospice Center in Potsdam. Group attendance is free of charge and all caregivers are welcome, a Hospice affiliation is not required. For more information about the Caring for the Caregiver Health Fair or the Caregiver Support Group please contact Nancy Vosbrink at 315-265-3105.