Hospice & Palliative Care continues to support patients and families despite COVID-19

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NEW HARTFORD — Across the world, COVID-19 has disrupted lives and has challenged everyone to adapt to difficult circumstances.

While so much has changed, one thing that has remained constant is Hospice & Palliative Care’s commitment to providing quality, compassionate care.

Hospice & Palliative Care, 4277 Middle Settlement Road, continues to support patients and families in Oneida, Herkimer and eastern Madison counties, and is the sole provider of hospice services in the greater Rome area with exceptional end-of-life care, grief support, and education.

In 2020 they served more than 1,000 hospice and palliative care patients and their families. Hospice & Palliative Care has been serving the community since 1977, and they are here for local residents when they need them most.

“The health of our patients and their families, staff, volunteers, and community members is our top priority, and we are monitoring and following the recommendations of the county Health Departments, New York State Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Throughout the pandemic our doctors, nurses, social workers spiritual care coordinator and certified home health aides have continued to provide patient care in patients homes, nursing homes, the Abraham House in Rome, and our four-bed residence the Siegenthaler Center, with all necessary precautions,” said Shannon Cayea, Hospice & Palliative Care CEO.

“As always, we also have an RN (registered nurse) available by phone 24/7 to address any needs or concerns patients or caregivers may have. We continue to accept new patients to both our hospice and palliative care programs. If you or someone you know may be considering palliative or hospice services, please call Hospice & Palliative Care at 315-735-6484.”

While hospice provides valuable comfort, support, and symptom management (for example, to manage pain and shortness of breath) while a patient is on service, patients and families often share that they wish they had known about or taken advantage of hospice services earlier.

Julia, the daughter of a Hospice patient shared, “I will be forever grateful, as will my family, for the love and care our mom received from her hospice nurse. Her nurse’s genuine care, concern and love for our mom was evident every time she walked through the front door. Because of her nurse, our mom was able to be home throughout her illness and for that I have gratitude that words could never express.”

Palliative care is compassionate comfort care that provides relief from the symptoms and physical and mental stress of a serious or life-limiting illness. Palliative care can be pursued at diagnosis, during curative treatment and follow-up, and at the end of life.

The A.I.M. Palliative Care Team continues to provide palliative services in person and through telehealth. In the past year, Hospice & Palliative Care has received grants to expand its telehealth services to its palliative patients, which have been beneficial.

Several people in the community are experiencing grief at this time, whether they have used hospices services or not for a loved one.

For those who have lost a loved one, physical isolation can intensify the grief experience.

“When we feel fear and anxiety, such as during this pandemic, we naturally yearn for security by wanting our loved ones close to us,” Cayea said.

“Hospice & Palliative Care has numerous resources on its website including articles, a video library and other websites that address grief and loss. The Hospice Bereavement Team urges everyone to follow the restrictions and guidelines that are in place. For all of us, and especially for caregivers, self-care is very important right now. They encourage everyone to get some fresh air, listen to music, and connect with others by phone or video.”

For the past 44 years, Hospice & Palliative Care has been recognized as a leader in end-of-life care and is a resource for our community. Those with questions about palliative care, hospice services or bereavement support, may call 315-735-6484 or visit their website at hospicecareinc.org.

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