Caring for our Suncoast Hospice patients and families takes tender touch and comfort.
When our patients are in the state of severe pain and stress, they may come to our Care Centers for short-term stays, skilled medical treatment and relief. The care teams also provide personal and spiritual care, emotional and social support and peaceful and relaxing environments and experiences.
Nature’s essential oils are one element that can help soothe pain, anxiety and agitation for patients and families. Our specially-trained palliative arts volunteers blend these plant-extracted oils, fill them in spritzer bottles and apply them to areas in the Care Centers, our Integrative Medicine Clinic, patients’ homes and other care settings.
“Smell is the most sensitive of the senses. The way a space smells can affect your mood,” explained Lori Williams, a senior volunteer coordinator for Empath Health.
She added, “The essential oil aromatics greet you with a sense of calm at the Care Centers. We primarily use a blend called Peace; it is a light and delicate aroma. Essential oils can help with uplifting, clarity and creating feelings of happiness and warmth.”
Next year marks the 20th year of our palliative arts program. Services include aromatherapy, recorded or live music, Reiki energy practice, pet visits and licensed massage therapy.
Care notes are a resource that can help support understanding and emotions of families. These messages are displayed at the Care Centers and may be taken home for reading.
“The care notes provide a short and beautiful expression and overview of how to cope with illness and how to deal with grief and bereavement. They (families) can explore these topics in their own homes and at their own pace,” shared Jim Andrews, director of spiritual care for Empath Health.
He added, “The most popular topic is how to talk to a dying loved one because sometimes you just don’t know what words to say or you feel like what you say will do more harm than good. The second most popular topic is how to cope with grief and loss. How to deal with a sudden traumatic loss is another popular topic in our South Pinellas Care Center.”
We are here to help
To learn more about Suncoast Hospice care, call us at (727) 467-7423 or contact us online.
New volunteers are always welcome to join and support. Check online for more information about our palliative arts and other volunteer opportunities.