It has always been an honor for the Catholic Community Hospice team to care for patients at the end of life. It has become an even greater one now, as families are restricted from spending time with their loved ones due to the health pandemic.

“Families are grieving because they can’t visit. They’re counting on us to be their eyes and ears,” said Nancy Kelso, Clinical Director. “Hopefully, they are finding some peace in knowing that we are there providing comfort, compassion and prayer.”

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, D.D., witnessed firsthand the teamwork between archdiocesan ministries when his mother was a resident at Villa St. Francis. He said, “I have been edified by the exceptional, additional care Mom received through the dedicated staff of Catholic Community Hospice.”

Traditionally, patients receive care from an interdisciplinary hospice team, which includes a physician, nurse, home health aide, social worker, chaplain and volunteer. Since March, most long-term care facilities will only allow the hospice nurse to come in on a limited basis.

The team has been trying to enhance communication between patients and family members, utilizing technology such as FaceTime. Also, the chaplains have started doing telehealth visits to ensure patients are receiving spiritual care.

Although it’s uncertain how long restrictions will remain, Kelso said that families can depend on Catholic Community Hospice. She said, “We will continue to be persistent and advocate for our patients, who deserve the benefits of hospice care at the end of life.”

Between March and July 2020, 170 patients received compassionate end-of-life hospice care despite having limited access to patients and families. Hospice is still continuing to serve patients 24/7 throughout the holiday season. To learn more visit: https://catholiccharitiesks.org/hospice/