Anna Smith of Carneys Point Township died peacefully at home, surrounded by her loved ones. Salem Hospice Care Nurse Natalie Eller, RN, stood quietly in the background, ready to provide support for the family after having cared for the patient during her final days.
While death can be heartbreaking, hospice care can make the transition more comfortable for the patient and consoling for the family.
Verecia Smith, Anna Smith’s daughter, reached out to hospice after her mother’s death to thank them for the love, care, and support they provided for her mother and family. Since her experience with hospice, Smith is considering a career in hospice care herself.
Hospice is a special kind of care that allows a person to live out their final days comfortably in their own home surrounded by loved ones.
Because of the bond that grows between the caregiver and patient’s family, Salem Hospice Care recently held a Celebration of Life reunion for the families of patients who have passed.
“Our motto is ‘Let our family take care of yours,’ and that’s exactly what we all are — a family,” said Hospice Administrator Kim Willis, M.Sc.A. “Many of our nurses live in the community they serve, so they may already know the patient they are caring for.”
The Celebration featured speaker Chaplain Jeffery Broughton Sr., illuminated lanterns, soothing music, and light refreshments. Each participant received a packet of flower seeds to plant in honor of their loved one.
James Hubbs, DO, Medical Director of Salem Hospice Care, said this event was important to everyone involved — the families and the hospice staff.
“We’re as thankful for them as they are for us,” Dr. Hubbs said. “We’re thankful to them for letting us into their homes to help in a very difficult and sad time.”
Willis hopes the celebration will become an annual event.
“This is the first event we have held like this,” said Willis. “Dr. Tammy Torres, our CEO, has been so supportive and offered much guidance and leadership in reaching our goals. We and our patients are very grateful to her.”
For more information about Salem Hospice Care, call 856-678-8500.