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Services at Hospice of Union County

The following is a list of services currently offered by Hospice of Union county:

In-home care

Hospice of Union County specializes in in-home hospice care. This service allows the patient to stay at home and receive the following services and amenities:

  • Home visits by nurses and specially trained caregivers
  • Visits from trained volunteers (if requested) to sit with patients, help with errands, perform simple chores, teach a skill, etc.
  • 24 hour-a-day on-call registered nurse
  • Medications related to the patient's diagnosis
  • Equipment directly related to the patient's diagnosis
  • Chaplain visits (if requested)

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Spiritual care

Throughout one's life journey, a person develops personal religious beliefs, values, and customs that form our unique spirituality and provide us with a sense of purpose and meaning. Our spiritual outlook enables us to cope with illness and eventual death, both our own or of a loved one. Hospice of Union County recognizes the importance of spirituality and attempts to support each patient and family according to their own spiritual tradition and beliefs.

Hospice of Union County provides spiritual care support with several goals:

  • To provide spiritual care services as needed for our patients and their families.
  • To consult with other care-team members regarding the spiritual care needs and requests of patients and families.
  • To provide information regarding all facets of the dying and grieving process to help the patient and family cope with the terminal illness, death, and grief.
  • To facilitate communication and involvement of local clergy and spiritual counselors, and especially each family's connection to their own pastor and faith community.

Spiritual Support and Spiritual Counseling Services
Spiritual support and religious services will be provided consistent with the patient and family's spiritual beliefs. This may include reading scripture; praying; providing music; offering communion and Final Rites; performing religious rituals, providing taped worship services; offering spiritual videos and books; reading devotionals; offering emotional support; listening to the patient or family; answering spiritual concerns; and visiting the patient and/or family.

Printed materials and support/education visits can also be provided, consistent with patient/family need and desire for service.

Communication with and Support for Local Clergy

Hospice of Union County will communicate with and support ministry involvement by local clergy and spiritual counselors, according to each patient and family's desires. If desired, a representative of Hospice of Union County will contact the patient's minister following the patient's admission, to help arrange for visits and other desired support.

Bereavement Services

Grief is the most intense and often the longest-lasting emotion we experience. It is almost impossible to prepare for, and difficult to get over. It can last for months or years and can profoundly affect the way we live.

Experiencing the death of a loved one is a process of intense emotions, stress and change. Due to this, Hospice of Union County offers bereavement services to give comfort and facilitate growth as one adjusts to life after loss.

When a hospice patient dies, our bereavement program offers services to his or her family for the next 15 months. The primary focus of Hospice of Union County's bereavement program is to assist individuals to:

  • Understand normal reactions to grief.
  • Identify and express feelings associated with loss.
  • Provide emotional and counseling support.
  • Transform the pain of loss into a renewed hope for living.

To help people understand and cope with their grief, hospice offers a broad range of support services for adults and children. Grief support groups and workshops, grief education and volunteers, and other services are available in support of those who are grieving. Individuals and families can receive our bereavement services free of charge, and whether or not their loved one was in the hospice program.

Individual and Family Support

Our staff members reach out to surviving family members in a number of ways with support and reassurance.

  • Phone Calls - We will call you and/or your family members periodically to give you a chance to share your thoughts with us. You may call us at any time.
  • Visits - We offer support visits, and you may request them, to help you work through your grief.
  • Support - We are always available to provide individual or family support at our office or in the comfort of your home during times of need or crisis. Spiritual counseling can also be arranged by our chaplain, upon request.

Regular Mailings

After a death, hospice sends regular mailings for more than a year, with helpful material about the grief experience and suggestions for coping, as well as information on upcoming events and activities. This material helps you maintain a close relationship with hospice.

Bereavement Support Programs and Healing Workshops

Taking part in a support group gives you a chance to share your experience with others in a similar situation. These groups are small and confidential, and this kind of sharing can be comforting and reassuring.

An Adult Grief Support Group is held two times per month, open to the whole community. Grief support programs for children are also held throughout the year.

Bereavement Memorial Services

Our Memorial Services are held annually for families in the spring and fall.

Help for Children

Children grieve when a family member dies, but their reactions are different from adults. We have a number of tools and resources to help children deal with their grief, including a children's support group and grief camps.

"Camp Whittle," a children's grief workshop, is held each year and it is open to the public. The camp is for children 6 to 16 years old.

We also provide guidance to parents, teachers and others on how to respond to the needs of children.

Community and Educational Services

Education about hospice care and end-of-life issues is an important part of hospice's service to the community. All of these educational programs are available without charge to churches, schools, businesses and civic organizations throughout the community, as part of our public education services.

Our presentations can be anything from a 15-minute talk to a half-day seminar. If you are interested in topics other than the ones listed here on the website, please ask! To request a speaker for your group, please call our office - 704-292-2100. We welcome your call and the opportunity to be part of your next event!

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Care in nursing homes and other facilities

Care provided by Hospice of Union County is available to any person in any facility that has a current hospice agreement. As in any other setting, the patient must have a terminal illness as diagnosed by a physician, and agree to admission to the program and to the hospice philosophy.

We coordinate our care with that already being provided by the nursing home or other facility, just as we coordinate our care with a family caregiver in the home setting. We extend our support to the family and facility staff as well.

Our customized physical, social, emotional and spiritual care includes:

  • Registered nurses who work with the nursing home staff, the patient and other caregivers to provide comfort and enhance the quality of life. Our nurses are experts in pain and symptom management. A nurse is on call 24 hours a day for consultation and emergency visits.
  • A review of medications with the Hospice-affiliated pharmacist.
  • A home health aide who can spend time assisting with bathing, dressing, shaving, fixing hair and other personal tasks. This care is in addition to the care provided by the facility.
  • Emotional support for both patient and family through visits by a social worker.
  • Volunteer visits to provide companionship and friendship for the patient and family.
  • Grief support from a hospice counselor.
  • Spiritual support from a hospice chaplain.
  • Finally, we provide expert training in hospice care and philosophy to facility staff members. Our services are not intended to replace the work of the nursing home staff but to enhance already existing services. Our goal, as it is in the home setting, is to help people live their last days in as much comfort as possible, surrounded by the people and things they love.

Medicare and Medicaid benefits may pay for a significant portion of a resident's cost for hospice care. When available, private insurance coverage is also accepted for hospice services. A medical social worker is available to provide information on the details of these benefits.

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Residential Care in the McWhorter House

Hospice of Union County was the first hospice in North Carolina and one of the first in the nation to provide residential hospice care. Our facility in Monroe can provide residential care to six patients and general in-patient care to six additional patients. The Edwin C. McWhorter Hospice House is primarily for those patients who do not have a 24 hour-a-day caregiver at home or whose medical condition cannot be managed at home.

Services and amenities provided at the McWhorter Hospice House include:

  • 24 hour-a-day care by a specially trained staff of caregivers and certified nursing assistants
  • A private room for each patient
  • 24 hour-a-day on-call registered nurse
  • Medications related to the patient's diagnosis
  • Equipment related to the patient's diagnosis
  • Flexible visiting hours
  • Flexible menu and meal schedule
  • Chaplain on call
  • Children and pets are welcome for visits
  • Patients are encouraged to bring items from home to personalize their room to make it more home-like
  • A volunteer (if requested) to sit with, teach a skill, run errands, etc.
  • Private sitting areas for families
  • In-house laundry service
  • Cable TV
  • Private grounds with fish pond

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Support assistance from social worker

Hospice social workers:
Hospice of Union County's staff of Social Workers help patients and their families in several ways. They can assist in arranging various community services, in establishing a customized care plan for feach patient, and help the patient and family through counseling.

Some of the services provided by our hospice social workers are:

  • Assist the psychosocial needs of the patient and family to establish a care plan to meet their needs
    Ongoing counseling and emotional support related to issues of grief, dying, and death for the patient and their family
  • Assist the patient and family in the utilization of the community resources
    Refer patient and family to local agencies for financial assistance, drug assistance programs, home delivered meals and provision of food on an emergency basis, and in home caregiver services.

    Help guide the patient and family through Medicaid applications and Social Security disability applications as needed.

Our social workers are certified in advance care planning and are available to educate patients and family members about advance directives such as living wills and health care power of attorney and assist with preparation of your documents. Education and assistance is also available as requested regarding durable power of attorney for finances, last will and testament, and do not resuscitate orders.

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