Simply Expand Your Reach as a Hospice
I had made a pivotal decision to move from being a 'wounded helper' to a professional after living with loss of some very significant people in my life. After completing a Masters in Art Therapy and Counseling Psychology at Adler Universaity, I finally became a grief counselor back in 2009.
By 2011, I started looking for a course like this... I was hearing from folks that they had all these barriers to getting the support they were seeking... time, location, work schedules, family obligations.... They were looking for something like this too... something flexible, something that would easily fit into their life at a time they were hurting so much.
After working at two hospices, both with different resource barriers to email care plans and online based programs, I decided it was time to create a solution. The First 52 for Hospice is created with bereaved families and the inner workings of a Bereavement Department in mind.
Simple Integration into Bereavement Department Workflow
❤︎ Your hospice will have it's own UNIQUE First 52 for YOUR Bereaved Family Members.
❤︎ You will have ONE identified ADMINISTRATOR of your choice.
❤︎ NO PHI entered. Only Name and Email are entered for your bereaved family members.
❤︎ There are options to semi-customize the program such as:
- to have folks participate in the program through commenting in the lesson or create an online platform on Social Media (like a private Facebook page) for your bereaved folks to connect with each other.
- include a tagline about your hospice or add hospice logo to each email.
- include lessons about upcoming events and memorial services.
- add a lesson that introduces your bereavement staff.
❤︎ You will only have access to your own bereavement emails and can send invites to upcoming events or memorial services without using another departments marketing email program or taking the time to send individual emails.
❤︎ Sample form for your bereaved family members to opt-in when Social Work and Nursing professionals review services during the admissions process.
❤︎ The ADMINISTRATOR will have access to review progress through the program, be informed of posts to comments, utilize available reports and send emails to your bereaved folks from the program.
EVERY PENNY COUNTS for BEREAVEMENT BUDGETING
At one hospice, I was tasked to figure out how much we were spending on mailings. Boy, that was eye opening!
Let me share some numbers. Let's say on any given month, we would have around 400 New Bereaved Family Members and on average only 140 would get the mailings since we limited pre-printed newsletters to POA(power of attorney), spouses or parents.
Newly Bereaved Mailing
140 Newly Bereaved
$954.80 ($6.82) per for a year of pre-printed newsletters
$924 ($.55 per mailing for 12 months per person assuming nothing extra to add weight)
$18 for mailing labels
Thats $1,896.80 just to provide service to those 140 Newly Bereaved for a year, not including envelops, ink for printing labels and the time coordinating volunteers or staff to process the monthly mailing.
Now, for the sake of simplicity, let's multiply that by 12 months since we initially looked at the cost for supporting only one month of newly bereaved for a year.
$1,896.80 x 12 = $22,761.60
Over $22k is a lot of money, in addition to the time and energy put into getting the mailing out, to wonder if someone is reading your newsletter.
Your bereaved families can expect:
❤︎ 56 weekly emails sent directly to your bereaved families inbox with a link to take them directly to the course to meet the 13-Month Bereavement Follow-up best practice for hospices.
❤︎ Useful videos, activities, handouts, and website links to gently explore and deepen insight to grief.
❤︎ Bite size information that is easy to understand and apply to life.
❤︎ Focused learning to personally explore grief, remaining connected to Loved Ones and adjusting to everyday life.
❤︎ Various topics that include:
- different ways of grieving
- coping strategies
- recognizing changes in life
- preparing for anniversaries and special days
- living with loss
This is a very thorough program intended to support your Bereavement Department expand their impact and reach for your bereaved families.
***Note: This program is not intended to replace mental health counseling. This is a self-guided program. The facilitator's role is that of a guide, coach and supportive companion.
“She understands that everyone moves through and processes in their own way. Her warm and intuitive nature facilitates her ability to cater each session to your specific needs. Julie is absolutely amazing at what she does and I highly recommend her.”
Let me introduce myself... Hello, I'm Julie.
I created these artful courses for YOU! I know the importance of quality information when you are searching for understanding within your current situation. Unfortunately, the internet is full of discussion groups that give misinformation, are a collection of personal experiences, or simply opinion. That may distract you from your own growth and empowerment.
You may be looking for some self-help tools. These courses can guide you through.
On the other hand, you may not have resources in your area OR you may not want to participate in groups or workshops due to the private nature of your situation. Please note: these courses are not a replacement for professional counseling if you are in need. You are welcome regardless of where you live. Within the courses, it is encouraged you share your experiences as you feel comfortable with other course participants. I hope you find useful information and tools to help you now.
I share my experiences from a personal and professional perspective... giving you what has worked in my life as well as for my clients so you don't have to try to figure it out all on your own. I have had my own personal experience with infertility, grief and a unique experience of parenting. My husband and I were able to became parents through foster care adoption and we ended our foster parenting journey when we moved out of Illinois. I'm here to tell you, there is hope. Life may seem uncertain right now. After significant deaths, my life was different. After infertility treatment, my life was different. After becoming a foster & adoptive parent, my life was different yet again. I have and will continue to grow and deepen my relationship with my spirit through these experiences.
Art Therapy and Counseling are a second career for me that began In 2009. Interestingly, my first career was in broadcast communication. I decided to make a necessary and rewarding change to counseling and art therapy after caregiving for my own mother-in-law. I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor and a Registered Art Therapist. I have presented in throughout Illinois and have traveled in the US to present regarding art therapy, grief, and coping. Learn more about my experience and professional memberships.
Improve Your Service and Expand Your Reach
Offering an Email Care Plan may just be the flexibility your bereaved families are seeking. We know how difficult it can be to get back into the swing of life, now that it's forever changed with the death of their Loved One.
I'd like to share with you two specific situations really stand out in my memory as to why I was determined to create this program.
1. I was asked to follow-up with a gentleman who had lost his mother. He happened to be a cross country truck driver. He was looking for support and was wondering how he could receive counseling with his schedule. He shared he was available at 5am in the morning when he was in the area. This created quite a challenge. We agreed to communicate through passive emails, him responding when he was able. This was difficult for me as a helping professional. I wanted to do more for him, though my hands were tied. At this point in my career, I started investing distance counseling options to help folks just like him.
2. I was in a bereavement team meeting where we were discussing possible changes to policies regarding who would automatically receive mailings from our department. The discussion rolled around to those primary family members that lived out of state or in distant parts of our state (out of our service area). I couldn't imagine reducing support simply because the assumption was these folks would not attend our support groups, events or memorial services. I knew we could do better.
I will never forget those two situations. I'm sure you've had conversations or thoughts about these types of scenarios in your organizations. There are ways to continue to provide service for those that:
- are homebound
- travel for work
- live in the outer corners or outside of your service area
- do shift work or took much time off of work while Loved One was on hospice service
- caregive and cannot easily leave their home
- are not in need of counseling though could benefit from passive support
- simply prefer email and online supports
Some additional benefits for your staff includes:
- sharing in the comments creates a grief community for your hospice families
- monitoring of progress and comments can facilitate meaningful conversations between bereavement staff and a family member during routine phone calls
- reduce the number of routine phone calls and create an email to remind them a routine check-in phone call will be coming soon - Can you imagine more phone discussions instead of the plethora of left messages that happen now?
- actually knowing your hospice families are interacting with the information you send out.
- your hospice has their own First 52 to help personalize your bereavement staff with your families
Frequently Asked Questions
We know that no two people grieve in the same way. There are things we can expect in grief and ways our life changes after the death of someone special. Even if grief has been experienced before, this grief will be different. There is no relationship like the one with that Loved One. Even people in the same family will experience this loss in their own way.
As Bereavement Professionals, we know the despair of new grief, the pain through the emotions, the discomfort in adjusting and the hope that emerges in time. This program introduces ideas and activities to help our families and friends a chance to connect to their personal grief. There is only one topic per week to match the focus of a grieving heart and mind. I don't tell them how to "do" grief... I am simply an informative Friend in grief.
I want you to meet YOUR bereaved folks where they are and expand your reach to those who may not be able to get to you for whatever their reason. Times are changing and resources are limited, I know. It's important to consider all your options.
My heart is with you and your bereaved families.