Since 1985, Valley Hospice has been committed to providing excellent end-of-life care and we are continually expanding our services to meet the needs of the community. We are proud to offer programs that set us apart from other hospices. Our VH Cares Program includes: “A Hero’s Salute” specialized end-of-life care and support to patients who have served in the military; “A Plan for Living” advanced directives program; “Whispered Wishes,” a program that grants end-of-life wishes; “Meaningful Moments, resources for individuals and families dealing with dementia; and “Bobby’s Books,” using books to help build a child’s coping skills.
A Hero's Salute
Today, one in four dying Americans is a Veteran. Valley Hospice honors those who have so bravely served this country. These men and women often carry experiences from their military service that present unique challenges at the end of life.
Valley Hospice is participating in a national endeavor, the “We Honor Veterans” campaign, jointly sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO).
Our program, “A Hero’s Salute,” is designed to provide specialized end-of-life care and support to Valley Hospice patients who have served in the military and their families.
To show our commitment to local heroes, Valley Hospice staff and volunteers receive training in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other emotional issues such as, remorse or regret, anxiety and substance abuse.
Veterans are assisted with Living Legacies through life review, veteran-to-veteran volunteer program, spiritual care and counseling, resources/benefits for veterans and dependents and recognition for military service with our “A Hero’s Salute” pin.
Valley Hospice accepts VA, Medicare, Medicaid and Tri-Care Insurance as 100% payment for hospice services, so there are no out-of-pocket expenses for veterans for hospice-related services. Valley Hospice accepts all patients regardless of their ability to pay.
The Valley Hospice Living Legacy creates a unique bridge from the past, to the present, and into the future. Veterans are given the opportunity to share their story and have it preserved for generations to come. Below are some examples of Living Legacies we have had the honor of completing.
A Plan for Living
Imagine you are in a hospital and can't speak for yourself. Who will speak for you? Do they know your wishes? Advance Care Planning Advance Health Care Planning is designed to help anyone, healthy or sick, communicate their wishes for medical treatment.
What are the benefits of Advance Care Planning?
- Builds trust between patient, physician and decision-maker
- Avoids future confusion and conflict
- Reduces uncertainty and anxiety
- Creates peace of mind for patient, future decision-maker, and family members
- Assures that your healthcare decisions will be respected
How do I make a plan?
Advance directives are written and verbal instructions intended to ensure that your wishes are known and carried out.
Do I know my wishes?
A Living Will is a document that allows you to decide, in advance, the type of medical care you would want, or not want, if you were to become permanently unconscious or terminally ill and unable to communicate.
Who will speak for me?
A Health Care Power of Attorney is a document that allows you to designate a person or persons to act on your behalf and make health care decisions for you if you become unable to make them for yourself. A Health Care Power of Attorney is different from a financial power of attorney that you use to give someone authority over your finances.
The Valley Hospice Whispered Wishes Program grants end-of-life wishes to Valley Hospice patients. The goal is to provide patients and their families with a chance to make memories, provide items that will improve quality of life or to meet an economic need. Generally, wishes are identified by a Valley Hospice team member (nurse, social, worker, etc). Most come up in casual conversation with the patient and/or family.
Whispered Wishes began with an anonymous donation in 2004 and continues to run solely on donations today. We are so thankful for the support of our generous donors who make this program possible! Below are a few examples of Whispered Wishes we have had the honor of granting.
The Valley Hospice Meaningful Moments program offers interventions that have been shown to provide meaning and comfort for patients with dementia. Valley Hospice continuously strives to provide comfort, peace and meaning at the end of life.
Stargazer Therapy uses a projector to project images of stars and clouds, moving in slow motion, across the ceiling of a patient room. This type of non-pharmacological intervention can be a valuable therapy in easing anxiety, agitation, sleep disturbances, dyspnea, pain and restlessness among patients.
Peaceful Paws Pet Therapy
Pets are known as faithful companions who provide unconditional love. The bonds that humans share with pets can result in very positive physical and emotional effects, including: reduced physical pain and blood pressure, improved heart rate and cardiovascular health and increased levels of comfort. Therapy animals also have a profound, measured impact, on the social and emotional well-being of patients providing reduced feelings of loneliness and depression, lower levels of anxiety and improved outlook on life and circumstances. Valley Hospice is proud to offer animated pet therapy as well as live therapy dogs who visit our Care Centers.
Our Therapy & Companion Dogs:
Using aromatherapy with essential oils in hospice and palliative care can reduce stress, promote spiritual relaxation and peace and increase feelings of well-being. At Valley Hospice, we use three specific essential oils for our patients:
Grapefruit: Grapefruit oil is sometimes referred to as “happy oil.” Grapefruit oil may be used to increase appetite, decrease feelings of depression and sadness and decrease anxiety.
Lavender: Lavender oil is calming. Lavender oil may be used to decrease tension, promote relaxation and aide in verbal expression.
Copaiba: Copaiba oil is calming. Copaiba oil may be used to help individuals connect with the past and move on from guilt, promote mental clarity and facilitate meditative prayer.
Light Hand Massage
A gentle touch can sometimes be the best medicine. It is one way to help the patient feel better while showing that you care.
Therapeutic massage can be used to:
Childhood is a wonderful time. A child embraces the joy of each day. Sometimes though, sadness, fear, illness and loss enter a child's life. If this happened to a child you know, would you know how to help?
One way is to use children's books to help kids deal with difficult issues, such as a childhood illness, the death of a parent or grandparent, the death of a pet or friend or even divorce and other family issues. Using children's literature as a springboard for conversations will give kids the chance to express their feelings and tell their own stories.
The Bobby’s Books program was created by Pam Krenzke. Prior to her death in 2006, Pam devoted much of her time to Bobby’s Books, a support program made up of literary resources. After losing both of her sons, Bobby and Eric, to a genetic disorder, Pam was determined to make certain that parents, educators and caregivers would have a resource to help children deal with their loss and grief - a tool that she did not have available to her when Bobby and Eric were dying. The core of the Bobby's Books Program is comprised of the following tools: educational seminars, lesson plans and a bibliography list.
Bobby Krenzke loved words, ideas, laughing and learning. He was born on August 6, 1985 and died on May 16, 1995. Bobby's Books was created in his memory and to fulfill his wish to make a difference in the world. Through so much tragedy, has come so much hope and promise. Their legacy will live on.