Dealing with the loss of a loved one can cause overwhelming grief to those left behind. Hope Hospice and Health Services has opened its virtual doors to anyone in need of grief support, including those who do not have someone in the organization’s hospice services.
In addition to grief support, Hope Hospice is also offering its virtual family caregiver classes to anyone who needs them. These classes and support groups are all free and open to the public, thanks to grants and donations made to the organization.
One way they raise money to operate is through events such as the upcoming Hike for Hope on May 6 at Del Valle Regional Park in Livermore.
“Many family caregivers find themselves in the role unexpectedly, and they feel overwhelmed, unprepared, and at a loss of what to do,” said Debbie Emerson, Community Health Educator. “Our education series provides a wealth of resources and tips to help such individuals navigate a sensitive time and to feel empowered to care for their loved ones.”
Live Family Caregiver classes are offered via Zoom once monthly, year-round. Recorded versions are available online, but attending live classes offer the opportunity to ask questions. The Family Caregiver Education Series, which includes several classes on dementia-related topics, is overseen by Emerson. She invites guest speakers to accompany Hope’s certified educators in senior care and dementia.
Hope also offers support groups for individuals who care for a loved one living with dementia. These are offered in 10-week sessions, and dates are determined by sign-ups. Sessions offer a combination of dementia education and support.
Grief support groups are offered once per quarter over Zoom for individuals who have lost someone.
“Hope’s bereavement program has been an important community resource since our founding in 1980,” said Arlene Baldwin, director of Grief Support Services . “We are here to support people grieving the loss of a dear one, to help them process their feelings and to learn how to move forward while still honoring their connection to those who have passed on.”
Hope Hospice spokesperson Kendra Strey said Hope’s grief team helps adults and youth learn to process feelings and find ways to move forward in a positive direction. She noted many people find it helpful to meet others with a shared experience, and Hope offers different groups to help people connect with others who have the same type of loss, whether of a spouse, a child or a general loss.
“We also offer a single-day workshop in the fall called Handling the Holidays to help the bereaved prepare for the approaching holiday season,” said Strey.
While classes and support groups are currently conducted over Zoom, small groups or clubs can request a private, in-person seminar for their group. Strey said while dementia is the most commonly requested topic, other topics related to senior care and hospice education are available.
Hope Hospice was founded in 1980 by a group of concerned local residents who wanted to help families care for their dying loved ones in the comfort of home with as little financial worry as possible. Initially, Hope operated with an all-volunteer workforce, from the nurses to the office team. Though the nonprofit has grown in numbers and service area, its commitment to care has never wavered.
Hope Hospice and Health Services is located in Dublin, but serves both Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Those interested in grief support groups must call to register. Caregiver classes require online registration. To register, donate, or for more information, call 925-829-8770 or visit https://www.hopehospice.com/.
- May 8-June 26, Mondays, 6-7:30 p.m.
- May 8-June 26, Mondays, 6-7:30 p.m.
- Call 925-829-8770 for dates
- Option 1 May 9-June 27, Tuesdays 6-7:30 p.m.
- Option 2 May 17-July 5, Wednesdays, 1:30- 3 p.m.
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