The dictionary definition for ‘gap’ is a break or opening; an empty space or interval. For persons with serious illness, chronic pain, or terminal diagnosis, the gaps are numerous and pervasive. The gaps can show up in their medical care, insurance coverage, finances, or relationships. Communication gaps are common between doctors, care givers, family members and the patient. The intention of this program is to provide guidance and tools to the family or friends in care giving roles. Bridging the Gap is required for volunteers and is useful for those planning to be present or supportive for their parents, siblings, partner, or other loved ones during health and life transitions.
Another obvious gap in our western world is a tendency to hold the inevitably of physical death at arm’s length. As the baby boomer population is aging, it is imperative that we give up our fears and taboos around death. Now is the time to embrace the courage, presence and compassion it takes to support our loved ones at end of life. If we want this for ourselves, a good beginning point is to practice offering this to others.
Bridging the Gap is a Quality of Life Advocate’s training that is required for our volunteers and is useful for those planning to be present or supportive for their parents, siblings, partner, or other loved ones during health and life transitions. During this program participants will learn about a wholistic approach to end of life concerns. Talking circles, guided meditations, and experiential activities will be incorporated to provide a comprehensive picture of ourselves as supportive prehospice helpers. The program is limited to four (4) participants and will include:
- Orientation to prehospice, hospice and palliative care philosophy
- Assessing our ability to care for ourselves while care-giving for others
- Understanding a team approach to wellness at every stage of life
- Learning simple methods for meeting and coping with personal grief
- Discovering how we do and do not listen
- Learning to compassionately express feelings and needs
- Exercises to clear a path to peace with our personal mortality
- Learning about the rights of the dying
- Understanding the importance of the life review