Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care has received a grant from The Gazette-El Pomar Foundation Empty Stocking Fund for its second consecutive year.
The agency provides comfort and care to people with chronic and terminal illnesses, using various therapies, including pets, music and aromatherapy.
“We are pleased to be a partner agency that can help people in our community at the end of their life journey,” said Executive Director Joan Selman. “Our experienced staff understand the uncertainty, but also the hope, that accompany these difficult times and are honored to offer resources and support that could help.”
The center is a partner of the national We Honor Veterans, which was created by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and Department of Veterans Affairs. The Pikes Peak nonprofit agency was the third hospice provider in Colorado to reach Level 4 partner status with We Honor Veterans. It also has been the only nonprofit hospice and palliative care provider in El Paso County for nearly 40 years.
“Our goal is to let our community know that they don’t have to face the challenges of serious illness alone. We are here to help,” Selman said.
Veterans have unique needs, and the care center is equipped to guide them and their families on the end-of-life journey. Each team is assigned a Veterans Affairs social worker, in-home care providers, food and any other needed supplies. The agency’s veteran volunteers also help their ailing comrades.
“This way we can be assured that veterans and their families are accessing the benefits they earned,” Selman said.
The care center issues a Certificate of Appreciation and military dog tag to each veteran patient in gratitude for their service.
“America’s veterans have done everything asked of them in their mission to serve our country,” the local hospice website says, “and we believe it is never too late to fulfill our mission to serve these men and women with the dignity they deserve.”
The center offers counseling for families when a patient dies, and it continues providing free support 13 months after the death of a center patient. Local residents whose loved ones were not in the center can access this same support for a fee.
The hospice and palliative care center recently launched Pikes Peak Pediatric Pathways Program to support its youngest patients.
“These programs are all funded in whole or in part through the generosity of the community, and we are so grateful,” Selman said. “Each dollar helps another family in need of care and support.”
She said she appreciates how the Empty Stocking Fund raises community awareness about agencies like hers and why they need funds. Agencies spend 100 percent of the money they get from the Empty Stocking Fund directly on people in need.
“We couldn’t do this alone, and we are a stronger community helping more in need by being joined together,” Selman said.