June 7, 2018: KNKX show “All Things Considered”
Here’s the Spring newsletter from VHOCC for your reading pleasure:
January 1, 2018: The VHOCC started 2018 off with a bang, by participating in the Port Angeles Polar Bear Dip at Hollywood Beach.
Here’s the Winter newsletter from VHOCC for your reading pleasure:
June 2017: VHOCC has just had the honor of winning “1st Place, Best Non-Profit” in the Best of Clallam County 2017 readers poll. We are delighted with this recognition & appreciation of the services offered by Volunteer Hospice.
This article appeared in a special supplement to the Peninsula Daily News and the Sequim Gazette the 1st week of Feb. 2016. It was written by Marilyn Nelsen.
VOLUNTEER HOSPICE OF CLALLAM COUNTY – an Overview
Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County (VHOCC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization, whose service area stretches from Diamond Point to Joyce. Its mission is to provide free round-the-clock registered nursing availability to terminally ill patients, while supporting their families emotionally, physically and spiritually. .Since its inception in 1978, all services have been provided free of charge to patients and their families. VHOCC never bills any government agency for its services.
As our name implies, VHOCC depends on its volunteers to play a vital role in VHOCC’S day-to-day operation. We have over 150 caring volunteers who reflect the Hospice mission and give freely of their time and talent, affirming life while serving others. For those interested in becoming a volunteer, we make every effort to match talents and skills with appropriate areas of service. Some volunteers come to us with professional degrees and experience, or specific expertise in a given field, but most are just folks who want to help their friends and neighbors while serving the community.
We are currently in need of volunteers to assist our Port Angeles and Sequim delivery teams. Walt Blendermann, Coordinator for the Sequim team, comments, “The delivery of equipment, while a very mundane task on the face of it, has its own rewards. Delivery crews are sometimes the first contact with patients, and the physical equipment itself is perhaps a useful symbol of community support to the patient and caregiver.”
There is also an ongoing need those skilled in IT services and for volunteers to greet and assist the public in our front office. Volunteer interest should be directed to the Volunteer Services Manager at 360-477-4260.
VHOCC provides many other services to the community at large: education programs, grief support groups, one-on-one bereavement services, survivors’ workshops, and other special programs. We also have a lending closet that loans durable medical equipment to those in our service area. You do not need to be a hospice patient to borrow equipment, which includes wheel chairs, walkers, shower chairs, crutches, and hospital beds (when available), and much more.
Here are some frequently asked questions:
- When should a decision about entering a hospice program be made, and who should make it?
Hospice can be discussed at any time during a life-limiting illness, along with all other care options. The decision should be made when all acute aggressive treatments have been discontinued. However, the sooner a patient enters a hospice program, the more opportunity there is to address not only medical needs, but emotional or spiritual needs as well. By law, the decision belongs to the patient.
- What are the criteria for becoming a hospice patient?
A doctor’s referral and a full-time caregiver (often, but not always, a family member) is required.
- Should I wait for our physician to raise the possibility of hospice, or should I raise it first?
The patient and family should feel free to discuss hospice care at any time with their physician, other healthcare professionals, clergy and friends.
- What if our physician doesn’t know about hospice?
Most physicians know about hospice. If your physician wants more information, it is available by calling Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County, (360) 452-1511.
- Can a patient living in a nursing home or convalescent home become a hospice patient?
Yes, hospice accepts patients who are in nursing homes or convalescent homes. Home is wherever the patient is. Patient care is coordinated between the teams to best serve the patient’s needs.
- What specific assistance does hospice provide patients?
Hospice patients are cared for by a team of doctors, nurses and volunteers; each provides assistance based on his or her area of expertise. Respite volunteers are available to spell caregivers, giving them the chance to go shopping, visit their doctor, have lunch with friends, or simply rest and recuperate. We refer and coordinate services with community resources for social workers, counselors, home health aides, clergy and therapists. In addition, hospice provides supplies, equipment and additional helpers in the home as appropriate.
- Does hospice do anything to make death come sooner?
Hospice neither speeds up nor slows down the dying process. The focus is not so much about dying. Hospice provides its presence and specialized knowledge while attending to the needs of living.
- What if the patient gets better?
If the patient’s condition improves, they can be discharged from hospice care and begin again at any time.
- How does hospice “manage” pain?
Hospice nurses and doctors are up-to-date on the latest medications and devices for pain and symptom relief. Pain medications are monitored frequently to assure appropriate relief of pain. The nurses obtain physician’s orders for pain medications or changes in dosage. Hospice believes that emotional and spiritual pains are just as real and in need of attention as physical pain, so it addresses these as well. Counselors, including clergy, are available to assist family members as well as patients.
- Does hospice provide any help to the family after the patient dies?
Hospice provides continuing contact and support for family and friends for at least a year following the death of a loved one. We also sponsor bereavement and support groups for anyone in the community who has experienced the death of a family member, a friend or a loved one.
For further information, please call 360-452-1511 or visit our website at www.vhocc.org