First 52 for Hospice – Reduce Isolation, Increase Services, Get Connected

One of my professional strengths is that I am able to take in an organization for all that is great about it.  After some time, I begin to question the status quo for those things that may be apparently missing a mark… I have an eye for this.  I always say, “Don’t make a problem where there isn’t one.”  I also question “How can we do better?”  I am a change agent in my core.  Not for the sole purpose of change.  More so, for the potential of improvement to what is already going well.  Make sense?

So I have some questions that I asked when I served hospice families regularly as a Bereavement Counselor and Art Therapist… Is this hospice ready to serve bereaved folks with significant flexibility? Why does this hospice bereavement services not yet included email as a way to offer routine follow-up?  We serve a wide service area… how can we reduce barriers to support for  those bereaved folks that live in the far reaches or outside of the service area?  Can Bereavement do more with the web page and social media? Isn’t there other ways to reach our bereaved?  Any of this seem familiar to you?  Sometimes, it seemed that even though Bereavement Support was a requirement for a hospice… we were stopping short of creative, innovative ways to reach out.

We did a lot of the same that we and other hospices did… mailings and phone calls.  I worked at two amazing hospices that offered counseling, groups, workshops, memorial services, camps and make wonderful connections with the community…  The small town girl inside me was wondering, what about those folks that may not be able to get to the office during office hours or have other limits to supports in the area?  How do we better serve them?

So, to no surprise, I celebrate the wonderful work those bereavement departments were able to accomplish.  However, I still inquired further due to a void in the services provided… The First 52 was created from that  pull in my heart for those grieving that were experiencing limits and boundaries to accessing bereavement education.   Those cross country drivers and shift workers most likely will not be available for phone calls or groups… those caregivers and professionals that travel for work may open only necessary mail.  We have so many ways to virtually connect… how can we do that? There are going to be folks that prefer mailings and phone calls, absolutely.  What about everyone else?

An email based, online program with quality content that hit key points throughout the first year of grief…

It’s a tall order, no wonder it’s been tough to find.  To my knowledge, this is a first of it’s kind.  Believe me, I’ve been looking for this since at least 2011.  When I didn’t find it, I decided it was time to create it myself…  My goals were clear…

  • simple, bite size information to match the grievers mindset
  • topics at specific times to address unique aspects of the first year of grief
  • content that focused on and made sense within the grievers life experience
  • a true companion in grief

These goals were realized within The First 52 online program.

I started to consider how this program could serve more folks… how could I fulfill the Chartreuse Center mission of improved access for quality support for grief, fertility and family building concerns.  It seemed so natural to offer the program for hospice bereavement programs to help them expand their reach and serve THEIR bereaved in a new way.

This is one of my own dreams realized… to find a program that will truly help the bereaved with so much flexibility… when they are ready… where ever they may be.   I searched and searched for this while I worked in hospice. I wanted this for my bereaved folks I served.  I certainly didn’t think I was going to create it and yet, it’s a wonderful accomplishment.

So, it’s ready folks!  The First 52 for Hospice is now available.  I couldn’t be more proud of this addition to bereavement support available for hospice bereavement organizations to expand their reach and continue to do their great work.  It’s really the same concept of Surviving Fertility program for Fertility Clinics and professionals to further support their patients and clients.

This is a great program for those innovative hospices that are open to integrating technology to serve their families. Rural hospices can significantly benefit by increasing bereavement services, making that precious bereavement budget go further, and connect with staffing limits.

Email hospicefirst52@chartreusecenter.com to schedule a walk-through of the program and to obtain a two week sneak peek to fully explore the program.