By Jo Schmeiser, Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford Executive Director
Each November, National Hospice Month, the Delaware Hospice Center hosts the CCGM Power Breakfast, and each year I learn something new about Delaware Hospice.
Some of the services and programs they offer I am already familiar with are their Transitions Program, the Family Support Center, the children’s New Hope Program, the Grief Support Newsletter and the “We Honor Veteran’s” Campaign, Caregiver Support & Education and extensive volunteer training opportunities.
This year the guest speakers from Delaware Hospice reminded the attendees at the breakfast about those programs, and educated the group about the grief and loss services available to work places.
This program was new to me this year. They explained that loss is not only about someone passing away, but can also be the loss of a job. Losing a job can be extremely devastating, especially after being employed for many years or decades.
Delaware Hospice will go to a work place to do group debriefing to discuss job loss, employee serious illness, employee deaths or any death one may have experienced in their personal life.
They also offer one-on-one counseling at the worksite at no charge for up to three sessions. If an employee feels more comfortable meeting the counselor at the center, offices are available in New Castle, Kent and Sussex County.
Delaware Hospice offers a Referral to Community Counseling Resource in Milford for those seeking more intensive counseling beyond the three free visits.
Grief loss resources are provided through support groups, topical workshops and retreats
through Delaware Hospice and other organizations.
Specialized staff is available at the Delaware Hospice Center on varying topics depending on workplace needs: Sudden & Unexpected Death, Grief 101, Normal vs. Complicated Grief, Grief & Children and How to Deal with Changes in Your Life. The guest speakers say in addition to counseling services employers should offer some type of memorial or ritual service to their employees so that they have closure.
A few years ago I attended a Memorial Service at Independent Newspapers in Dover where they planted trees for three employees who passed within a two year period. Their colleagues, friends and family who attended agreed that it was a wonderful gesture and really helped them have closure. Employers have to remember that employees having issues, be it at work or home, will have a direct impact on work performance and productivity.
If you are an employer and would like to learn more about the workplace services, or if
someone you know is having issues handling any type of loss or life change, contact Delaware Hospice at 302.856.7717, 866.402.3805 or visit them on the web at www.delawarehospice.org. For more information call the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford at 422.3344, email@example.com, visit firstname.lastname@example.org or check us out on facebook.