PEACE … Former CHP Inpatient Hospice Center patient Chris Liechty and his wife and caregiver, Holly. (PHOTO COURTESY LIECHTY FAMILY)
By: Amy Wendt
For many families, the holidays bring laughter, joy, and togetherness, but for those who have an adult loved one with disabilities, deteriorating mental function due to dementia, or a family member requiring hospice care, the holidays can be challenging to manage.
Patients and their caregivers often feel a range of emotions: disconnect, depression, loneliness, helplessness, frustration, and fear.
Some families may want to skip holiday gatherings altogether, while others want the celebrations to continue as normally as possible.
For Williams and Fulton County residents (and beyond), CHP Home Care and Hospice is available to help families through these difficult times with a mission “To provide comprehensive home health and hospice services to the people of Northwest/West Central Ohio.”
It is important to note that the CHP staff is local. According to Community Liason Wendy Gericke, “if you don’t know them (our nurses and staff) personally, you probably know their parents or grandparents.”
CHP’s Adult Day Care, located in Archbold, offers a unique opportunity for adults limited in their ability to function independently, but not requiring 24-hour supervised care, to enjoy the holidays in a safe, home-like environment during the day receiving personal care, meals, snacks, and fun activities.
It’s a place where loved ones can develop friendships, be active and social, and do the things they enjoy.
What’s more, caregivers enjoy peace of mind knowing their loved one is spending the day in a safe, fun, and social environment while receiving expert care.
For many people, “hospice” is not a term one would like to associate with the holidays or any other time of the year for that matter.
However, in-home hospice care can be a way to keep loved ones who are struggling with a terminal illness at home during the holidays in comfort.
CHP In-home Hospice offers services to meet physical, emotional, and spiritual needs for an improved quality of life while allowing loved ones to stay home in the center of family holiday activities.
Of course, there are also situations when a patient’s home setting is not ideal for hospice care making inpatient care a requirement and the holiday season is no exception to this rule.
CHP’s Inpatient Hospice Center located outside of Defiance and serving all of Northwest Ohio offers pain and symptom management, 24-hour nursing care with supportive visits from social workers, chaplains, musicians, and volunteers in comforting surroundings.
Caleb Liechty, the son of a former hospice patient Chris Liechty, offered the following testimony about the CHP Inpatient Hospice Center:
“Dad’s death is still fresh in a lot of ways. Since he died at CHP in January, I’ve found myself not wanting to dwell on the sadness and pain of his last months alive.”
“I’d rather spend time in memories of his laughter around the table, his racing me barefoot across green grass, his standing in front of a crowd telling stories & jokes.”
“However, I recognize how important it is to also remember the end… to process the years he spent fighting for his life, and the weeks he spent letting go of that precious life.”
“CHP is a peaceful place in my memory. It was a place that allowed, and encouraged, our family to feel all the grief, love, confusion, and hurt that comes with losing a loved one.”
“After weeks of visiting Dad in the hospital, we coveted the test-free tranquility, the comfortably carpeted hallways of CHP.”
“For so long, we never knew what to expect day-to-day in terms of Dad’s health.”
“When we got to the point of hospice, everything became simpler. We felt educated by the staff for what was to come, as peaceful & prepared as a family can possibly be in such a traumatic & devastating hour.’
“At CHP, the focus became comfort for our dad, and a place where the family could grieve and celebrate the final precious moments with him.”
“One of our Dad’s biggest concerns was suffering while dying, and specifically us kids and our mom having to witness it.”
“The staff confidently said it wouldn’t happen, and it didn’t, for which we are all very grateful.”
“While continually heartbroken, we are thankful for these last memories in the very safe space of CHP and recognize how holy they are. – In gratitude, Liechty Sibs”
Home health aids and volunteers are important assets to the CHP agency. From helping caregivers run errands, doing light housekeeping and yard work, or sitting with patients to give caregivers a break, aides and volunteers enhance the quality of life for patients and families alike.
There are also volunteer opportunities to serve doing office work, answering phones, greeting people, and helping with fundraising events.
To find more information about other services CHP Home Health and Hospice offers or to volunteer please visit their website at https://comhealthpro.org/.
Amy Wendt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org