The emotional toll of caring for and living with somene with an advanced illness is an ongoing process and the effect on families and caregivers does not end when a loved one dies.  The hospice bereavement team provides support for family, caregivers and friends involved in caring for the individual. This support starts during care and continues after through our bereavement program

The Bereavement Program supports hospice families and friends after the death of a loved one. Support is also available to community members who have experienced the loss of a loved one – even if they did not use hospice services. Support is provided by phone and mail contact, phone or in person counseling, printed resources and networking. Workshops and support groups are provided by each office according to need.

Griever’s Bill of Rights

  • You have the right to experience your own unique grief
  • You have the right to talk about your grief
  • You have the right to feel a multitude of emotions
  • You have the right to be tolerant of your physical and emotional limits
  • You have the right to experience “griefbursts”
  • You have the right to make use of ritual
  • You have the right to embrace your spirituality
  • You have the right to search for meaning
  • You have the right to treasure your memories
  • You have the right to move forward your grief and heal

We are here to help

High Peaks Hospice Bereavement staff and volunteers offer a variety of grief services to those we serve and to the community at large.   One of these is Grief Support groups which can help those experiencing grief navigate through choppy waters.  Since we all grieve in different ways a variety of topics are offered.

Contact: Dean Brown at dbrown@highpeakshospice.org or 518.891-0606 for more information.

Grief support groups:

    • Individual support
    • Good Grief community support groups
    • Coping with the Holidays Workshop (every November)
    • Traumatic loss support
    • Workplace grief support

Grief Support Groups Are Designed To Help Survivors:

    • Increase understanding of the grief process
    • Recognize the normal manifestations and experiences and feeling of grief
    • Recognize, express and accept feelings of sadness, anger, guilt, and relief
    • Decrease emotional pain (sadness, depression, anxiety, loneliness, hopelessness)
    • Develop a support system both with and without the group
    • Recognize signs of healing
    • Accept the reality and irreversibility of death of our loved one
    • Develop a realistic memory of our deceased, remembering the life shared, not primarily the death
    • Recognize our own strengths and weaknesses and seek additional support or therapy as needed
    • Reinvest ourselves in life by establishing “new” or renewed relationships

Hospice accepts referrals for bereavement regardless of whether or not their loved ones received hospice services.

Those who contact us regarding grief support will receive the mailings and have an opportunity to talk with the Bereavement Coordinator or a volunteer. Our program offers quarterly mailings for thirteen months and phone contacts 1- 4 times a year.

Hospice Bereavement Coordinators and Social Workers also respond to community emergencies.  They are available to counsel those in grief when a community has experienced a significant loss that affects many people – most often when there have been tragic deaths within the community.

This is just one more significant way that hospice can make a difference.

High Peaks Hospice has also held three Bereavement Conferences in the past 8 years.  These conferences were open to the public and were presented by nationally recognized grief specialists.  The purpose was to provide the coping skills to both the professional and lay people in our north country communities.

Grief Support

RX for Recovery

  1. Eat Balanced meals. Check with your physician regarding vitamins.
  2. Limit intake of alcohol, caffeine, drugs and sugar. (if sensitive)
  3. Exercise 5 days a week. A brisk 30 minute walk will do.
  4. If suffering from insomnia, don’t eat protein after 5pm. It blocks tryptophan. Eat carbohydrates at night. Also alcohol, caffeine and sugar causes insomnia in some people.
  5. Take 10 minutes a day to do something nice for yourself.
  6. Some find daily meditation or prayer at a fixed time (on rising or at bedtime helpful.)
  7. Each night make a list of tasks for the next day. In the morning, review them, eliminating or adding. Prioritize them.
  8. Allow yourself permission to grieve—to cry and to be angry.
  9. Choose your companions carefully; those who will support your grief process and help with necessary tasks.
  10. Avoid making hasty major decisions (changes of residence, employment, disposition of personal effects) too soon.
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