A Message From Our Director
One of the aspects of Hospice Care which is often overlooked is Bereavement support. When the Hospice Medicare Benefit was first introduced in the 1980’s, one of the clear objectives of the program was to include Bereavement support for the family for up to one year, following the death of a loved one. Not only does Craven County Hospice offer this to patient families, but we also offer this service to members of the community. We will be completing our scheduled Bereavement Support Groups, but understand if you or a loved one is experiencing issues with grief, we are here to help any way we can. You do not have to be a patient or have a patient on our service to receive this support, it is one of the ways we provide support to our community. Give us a call….our Bereavement Coordinator will assess your situation and if possible offer you the support you need. We can also offer referral to bereavement professional specialists if this is needed. You don’t have to face grief and loss alone. Let us walk with you through this journey. Also…very soon we will be announcing, as a collaboration with CarolinaEast, bereavement support specifically targeted for mothers who have lost a baby through miscarriage and other forms of neonatal death as well as the death of a small infant. We are here to serve our community and this is another way we can provide support to those who are grieving.
Words cannot express our sincerest “Thank You” to our community, for your support of our Hospice Agency. We are now moving toward our fourth decade of service to the residents of Craven and surrounding counties. Our agency survived and is thriving through the many changes which took place as Hospice transitioned from a volunteer, non-profit/not for profit service to becoming a major healthcare industry. What began as simply a philosophy of care, has evolved into a highly regulated part of the health care continuum. Like all health care delivery systems, Hospice has changed and will continue to change as our nation tries to focus health care spending toward care models which produce both quality of care and higher patient satisfaction.
Healthcare is a very personal decision and it is very important that we think about the care we want to receive as a “practical” plan which eases pain and suffering and can bring more satisfying results as well. In order for that to happen, we need to think about what our priorities would be if we were faced with an illness or condition which results in a limited life expectancy. One of our themes this past year has been to encourage everyone to think in terms of their “mortality”. We will all face the moment in life where life as we know it is no more. When faced with such a reality, what really matters to you (and me)? If our priority is to extend our life, no matter what the side affects, pain and suffering we might go through or endless repetition of decline, hospitalization, decline, hospitalization, if that is your choice…then that is a valid choice. However, if you prefer to face your last months/days with your family, at home with an extra level of support which allows you to do so (which is the choice of a majority of persons), then Hospice would be your choice. The irony of the whole health choice dilemma is studies have shown that persons who choose hospice as opposed to continued aggressive treatment especially nearer the end of effective treatment will many times live longer than the person who continues to seek extra treatment. If faced with a diagnosis of an illness or condition which your physician determines you have limited life expectancy, ask about Hospice Care. The time to do this is when you are diagnosed. That way, you and your physician can design a care plan that includes treatment which provides relief and longer life yet when that is no longer the case, let your doctor know you are willing to accept Hospice Care.
What do you look for in a Hospice Provider? First of all, trying to decide on a Hospice provider is generally not something anyone does unless you find yourself in a situation where you have exhausted all possibility of finding a “cure” for an illness or condition. Such a decision is often born out of necessity rather than a voluntary act. Always remember, if your doctor diagnoses you or a loved one with an advanced illness, you can choose to ask for and seek Hospice care instead of treatment. Just as you choose your primary medical provider, choosing a Hospice should also be a decision made deliberately after asking your friends and family for suggestions. We have received many positive comments about our television commercials. Each person in our commercials has a story to tell and we simply attempted to capture part of their story in a 30 second commercial (which is nearly impossible…and for each person in our commercials, we had hundreds more who could share similar yet different stories). Craven County Hospice has been a part of the fabric of the New Bern and surrounding areas since 1980. Our hospice provided end of life services before Hospice evolved into what many companies see as a highly profitable “industry”. We are not part of a regional or national organization. We have always been “not-for profit” since our beginning. We have literally served generations of Craven, Pamlico, Carteret, Lenoir and Jones County citizens. Remember, you have a choice of Hospice providers (there are multiple providers in our area who provide good care). At present, major changes are taking place in the national Hospice landscape with large corporations entering and expanding their presence in the Hospice arena. At Craven County Hospice, we believe there is something to be said for the “local” approach with local control. We are one of two of the ONLY true “Hometown” Hospices in our area. If your loved one is receiving Home Health Services from another agency, remember YOU have the right to choose which Hospice Provider you would like. When it is time, please ask for us by name, Craven County Hospice. It is our pledge to offer you the very best end of life care possible. You have our history and you have my word on it. We cannot change the outcome, but we can help change the experience. Let us be your Health Care Partner. Thank you for your trust and your support for over 35 years.
Dr. Cecily Saunders, credited with being the founder of the modern day Hospice Movement once said: “You Matter because you are you. You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die…” These words summarize the mission of Craven County Hospice.