November is National Hospice Month and Delaware Hospice is continuing its twenty-eight year tradition of taking care of patients. Started in 1982, the Delaware Hospice has provided care for over 35,000 patients in Delaware. Their mission is to “help each patient, each day, live the fullest, most comfortable life possible.” Delaware Hospice is the largest and only licensed nonprofit, community-based hospice serving New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties in Delaware.
Delaware Hospice is one of thirty organizations chosen to work with the Grief and Loss Services for Workplaces Grant from the State of Delaware. This program sends the message that hospices serve much more than the patient; they serve families and the community as a whole. Vicki Costa, Associate Director of Family Support Services, emphasizes that Delaware Hospice goes beyond the services that most individuals are accustomed to or have think of. “This program is about living and how to cope with life,” stated Vicky.
The Grief and Loss Services deal with grief of many different types including job loss, death or serious illness of an employee, and any death experienced in an employee’s personal life. Delaware Hospice uses professionals to help individuals express grief in a healthy way. Vicki fights what she describes as the paradox of how we, as a society, have understood grief. “We think that if we express and get out our grief that the problem will get larger, when in reality, if we keep that emotion inside it will create more problems, “commented Vicki.
Delaware Hospice begins the healing process in the workplace by offering a variety of services. Group debriefing are one of the services provided in the workplace when a crisis has occurred at the location or to those individuals who are employed there. Delaware Hospice acts as a neutral third party to help the process of grieving without any sense of judgment. Vicki explains, “We do not analyze why something has happened but talk about the situation and focus on how they think and feel.”
This can be followed by one on one counseling in the Delaware Hospice offices if an individual needs more help. The help that the hospice provides is not only to the patient being treated but the families and what they endure. “We know that sometimes grieving begins at the time of diagnosis and for that reason offer counseling for every step of the way,” stated Vicki. The focus of the Delaware Hospice is about making sure the individual and their families enjoy life and enjoy each other.
For more information on the Grief and Loss Services contact Vicki Costa, Associate Director of Family Support Services, at 302-856-7717 or visit www.delawarehospice.org.