In light of November’s Hospice and Palliative Care month, we will be sharing thoughts about the impact of the work that hospice teams do 365 days a year, 24/7.
As a 2-state association for the Carolinas, we need not look very far to understand the dedication of hospice staff every day. Hurricane Matthew affected the Carolinas for weeks after the storm left our states. Flash flooding, storm surge and catastrophic cresting of rivers no doubt affected the individuals and families you serve and the safety of your teams. More importantly, natural disasters take emotional toll on the communities hardest hit. To us in the hospice world, it may not seem out of the ordinary to reflect on the heroics of the hospice team during such events, but we believe your stories are worth telling. We will share a few here and invite others to submit their stories to us. We know that a great many of our members were — and still are –affected by the storm.
From South Carolina
Our “hospice personnel performed remarkably. Heroes really. Our patients and caregivers are all safe. We sheltered 11 patients from assisted living in Charleston, 4 hospice home care patients, 4 patients of other hospices and 15 patients from a SNF in Beaufort.”
From North Carolina
“We were in preparation mode all last week for both patients as well as for ourselves. Major portions of the county was and some areas are still under water. We had as much as 3 hours travel time between visits due to road conditions. Often times, we found the way one arrived to a home was not always the same route one took to the next. Due to increased mileage, gas became an issue since gas stations were not open (local EMS allowed us to re-fuel from their site but that in itself was a challenge since getting to their site require much traveling due to road closures). Patients at risk were admitted to the in-patient facility on Friday and one was admitted on Monday when flood waters started to enter her home. Patients who have remained in their homes have been cared for, first through phone contact and now through home visits.”
While businesses of all types were able to close their doors during the storm and in its raging aftermath, hospices and other healthcare providers steadied their resolve to care for the most vulnerable among us. Heroes indeed and, remarkably, these heroes work with just such resolve every day.