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Community Care Hospice Logo

Community Care Hospice

1669 Rombach Ave.
Wilmington, OH 45177
Phone: 937.382.5400
Fax: 937.383.3898

Ohio's Community Mercy Hospice Logo

Ohio's Community Mercy Hospice

1830 N. Limestone St.
Springfield, OH 45503
937.390.9665

Ohio's Hospice at United Church Homes Logo

Ohio's Hospice at United Church Homes

Chapel Hill
12200 Strausser St. NW
Canal Fulton, OH 44614
330.264.4899

Ohio's Hospice at United Church Homes Logo

Ohio's Hospice at United Church Homes

200 Timberline Dr. #1212
Marietta, OH 45750
740.629.9990

Ohio's Hospice LifeCare Logo

Ohio's Hospice LifeCare

1900 Akron Rd.
Wooster, OH 44691
330.264.4899

Ohio's Hospice Loving Care Logo

Ohio's Hospice Loving Care

779 London Ave.
Marysville, OH 43040
937.644.1928

Ohio's Hospice of Butler & Warren Counties

Ohio's Hospice of Butler & Warren Counties

5940 Long Meadow Dr.
Middletown, OH 45005
513.422.0300

Ohio's Hospice of Dayton Logo

Ohio's Hospice of Dayton

324 Wilmington Ave.
Dayton, OH 45420
937.256.4490
1.800.653.4490

Ohio's Hospice of Central Ohio

Newark

2269 Cherry Valley Rd.
Newark, OH 43055
740.788.1400

Inpatient Care Center

1320 West Main St.
Newark, OH 43055
740.344.0379

Ohio's Hospice of Central Ohio at
The Ohio State University
Wexner Medical Center

410 W 10th Ave - 7th Floor
Columbus, OH 43210
614.685.0001

Ohio's Hospice of Fayette County Logo

Ohio's Hospice of Fayette County

222 N. Oakland Ave.
Washington Court House, OH 43160
740.335.0149

Ohio's Hospice of Miami County Logo

Ohio's Hospice of Miami County

3230 N. Co. Rd. 25A
Troy, OH 45373
937.335.5191

Ohio's Hospice of Fayette County Logo

Ohio's Hospice of Morrow County

228 South St.
Mount Gilead, OH 43338
419.946.9822

Ohio's Hospice

Ohio's Hospice

Dayton

7575 Paragon Rd.
Dayton, OH 45459
937.256.4490
1.800.653.4490

Cincinnati

11013 Montgomery Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45249
1.800.653.4490

Meeting Community Need: Grief and Bereavement

COVID-19: Working on the New Normal for Grief and Bereavement

“Ohio’s Hospice and its affiliates are still working on the new normal when it comes to grief and bereavement services for the community,” says Lisa Balster, MA, MBA, LSW, FT, director of Patient and Family Support Services for Ohio’s Hospice.

The pandemic initially wreaked havoc on the broad grief and bereavement program at each Ohio’s Hospice affiliate and associate member. In-person, one-on-one, and group counseling sessions were canceled. Children’s summer grief camps were canceled. Community-wide memorial and remembrance ceremonies were canceled.

But Ohio’s Hospice grief counselors quickly pivoted and began to shape the new normal.

“Fortunately, we have a really strong individual counseling program,” Balster explains. “It’s our forte. We do it for children, teens and adults.”

And with chaplains and social workers on patient care teams being limited in the private homes, nursing homes and assisted living facilities they could visit, they moved right over to reaching out with calls to the bereaved, according to Renee Sparks, general manager and executive vice president for Ohio’s Hospice of Central Ohio. Prior to the pandemic, she adds, it could prove difficult for grief counselors to reach the bereaved by phone. “But during COVID, we’ve seen a definite increase in the number of people accepting a phone call and the amount of time they were willing to spend on the phone with our grief counselors. It’s been a big change, a huge impact,” she says.

Balster prefers the individual grief counseling model for children and adults beginning their grief journey. “The newly bereaved are not in a place to share. But as time goes on, they would have something to give and to receive in a group session,” she says. “While for-profit hospices have proliferated throughout Ohio, few, if any, offer the individual counseling that Ohio’s Hospice provides — in or out of a pandemic.”

The various children’s grief camps at Ohio’s Hospice affiliate and associate members have been most sorely missed in this year of the pandemic. In some cases, grief counselors put together a combination of individual activities and video calls to hold virtual grief camps for participants and their parents or guardians.

But while the pandemic initially upset grief programs, it wasn’t long before it was busier than normal for the more than a dozen grief and bereavement counselors at Ohio’s Hospice. Balster shares, “We’ve been able to make our time count in a much more efficient way. No windshield time, more time for counseling. I think we’re going to learn some things while we’re busy doing this.”

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