On November 15, friends and family members of former Singing River Health System Hospice of Light patients gathered for a remembrance ceremony and honored their loved ones by planting a live oak tree near the walking trail at Singing River Hospital.
November is recognized as National Hospice Month, and as tradition, Hospice of Light planted a tree remembering patients who died during the last year.
“This tree planting is about the families who have lost a loved one and their legacy,” explained Crystal Davis, Practice Administrator, Singing River Health System Hospice of Light. “Our caregivers and employees care deeply for the families of our patients and offer a variety of services to them to help deal with grief and loss. Planting a live oak tree allows us to provide a living remembrance and is just one of the many ways we want to honor and remember their loved ones for years to come.”
Singing River Health System Hospice of Light provides in-home comfort, care and compassion for patients who are terminally ill. The program offers a unique form of care devoted to allowing patients the opportunity to live their final days in the comfort of their own home, surrounded by their family and friends.
The program opened for patients on March 1, 1994. Hospice of Light was the first hospice program to serve all of Jackson County, as well as parts of Harrison and George counties. Presently, Hospice of Light provides services to six of counties in the Mississippi Gulf Coast area with offices in both Jackson and George County, and is the only hospital-based, Joint Commission accredited hospice program in the region. Hospice of Light is also recognized as a Level Two Partner of the National Veterans Program within the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
“Our goal is to provide patients and their families with compassionate medical professionals and dedicated volunteers to form a warm, supportive care network,” said Davis. “Patients are able to live out their lives with dignity, surrounded by family members and people who love them.”
Under the direction of Dr. Edgar Hull, oncologist and Medical Director of Hospice of Light and Dr. John Weldon, hospitalist and Associate Medical Director of Hospice of Light, the staff provides a variety of services to patients and their families. A patient must be diagnosed with a terminal illness and admitted to the program by a physician. The attending physician continues to be involved in the patient’s care, and patients and family members work directly with nurses, social workers, chaplains, nurse aides and volunteers.
While many hospice patients have terminal cancer, Hospice of Light also cares for those who have heart, lung or renal conditions, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and AIDS. Also on staff is a team of pediatric nurses with specialized training to care for pediatric patients.
Currently, there are several trained volunteers that work with Hospice of Light in various ways including office work and in patient homes assisting with the needs of patients and their families.
Each patient is provided individualized care that comes from a team of nurses, nurse aides, social workers, chaplains and volunteers that focuses on maintaining comfort, managing symptoms and educating the patient and his or her family member.
Hospice of Light also offers grief recovery support groups for those who have experienced the death of a loved one due to a terminal illness. Bereavement services are offered for up to 13 months to the families of all who have lost a loved one cared for by the Hospice of Light team. Bereavement services are tailored to the individual needs of the bereaved and include sharing bereavement information and remembering the lost loved one in special ways.
» Discover more about Singing River Health System Hospice of Light and to learn about volunteer opportunities.