Hope Healing Hearts: Counseling
Hope offers compassionate grief counseling for people of all ages. Help is available to everyone in the community at no charge, thanks to generous donations. Our grief support groups, led by professional counselors, are held at different times and locations throughout southwest Florida. Special opportunities are also available for grieving children and teens, including our annual Rainbow Trails bereavement camp.
See our Counseling page to learn more.
Music therapy is a creative opportunity to express emotions within an atmosphere of comfort and relaxation. You may join in the making of music or choose to listen – or both. Therapeutic experiences may include song writing, music performances, vocal or musical improvisation. No musical background or experience is necessary to enjoy the many benefits of music therapy, including:
- Positive changes in mood, relaxation, peace, and comfort
- Anxiety and stress reduction
- Social interaction with caregivers and family members
- Memory recall, reminiscence, and satisfaction with life
Music therapy can be used for special needs as well. For patients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, music therapy can enhance socialization, assist in recall and language skills, and decrease the frequency of agitated behavior. Music therapy can help children manage pain and stressful situations; it may also encourage self-expression, communication, and motor development.
Art therapy is an opportunity for people of all ages – children, teens, and adults – to express themselves creatively while dealing with stress, grief, and loss. Art can produce a powerful release of feelings that can be healing to the mind, body, and spirit. Our licensed art therapists offer encouragement and guidance while emphasizing the process of the artwork, not the final product. Artistic talent or prior training is not required. Common goals of art therapy include relaxation and stress relief, providing insight on emotions, and encouraging communication between loved ones. For those who are grieving, art therapy can also be a creative tool for sharing memories and exploring coping skills. These goals may be achieved through:
- Self-Expressive Art – creating artwork spontaneously, based on current emotions, moods, and thoughts
- Art Studio – creating artwork for relaxation and as a healing outlet for stress and life transitions
- Legacy Projects – gift making, inter-generational art projects, memory books, albums, and memory boxes
Massage and Aromatherapy
Massage therapy is both an art and a science, deeply rooted in the healing power of touch. Hope’s massage therapists work closely with Hope’s interdisciplinary team to ensure that all treatment is appropriate for each person’s unique plan of care. Massage has been shown to relieve muscle tension and stiffness, promote deeper breathing, and reduce blood pressure. It may also foster peace of mind, relieve mental stress and anxiety, or satisfy the need for caring, nurturing touch.
Aromatherapy involves treating the mind, body, and spirit using natural essential oils. The therapeutic oils are either applied directly by massage or are released into the air through a diffuser or aroma pillow. Some of the more common essential oils used at Hope include lavender for calming, peppermint for stimulation, or citrus for uplifting spirits.
VALOR Program: We Honor Veterans
Hope is a four-star partner of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s We Honor Veterans program. Hope Honor Guard volunteers perform recognition ceremonies for our veterans, which include an appreciation certificate, flag, lapel pin, quilt, and veteran bear. Every certificate is customized with the veteran’s name and branch of military service.
We also offer assistance with the Veteran’s History Project through the Library of Congress. The project collects and archives personal recollections of wartime veterans to honor their service and share their stories with current and future generations.
Donations to this program help all veterans receive the specialized care they deserve. Every dollar is invaluable to our mission and honors our nation’s heroes. Consider making a memorial gift on Memorial Day, the 4th of July, Veterans Day, or on a day that is special to your family.
Hope’s Pet Program
Pets have a special way of showing unconditional love and uplifting spirits, no matter what the circumstances. Interaction with animals can lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and ease physical or emotional pain. Hope’s volunteer pets are reviewed prior to acceptance into the pet visitor program. Whether at home, a facility, or in a Hope Care Center, volunteer pets create smiles, laughter, and peace of mind for all involved.
Help for People with Pets
We know that pets are special to the people in our care. These furry family members provide unconditional love, comfort, and companionship. But when coping with a serious illness, the physical and financial responsibilities of pet care can be challenging.
Through the generosity of our donors and grants from the community, Hope can now assist with necessary services to keep hospice patients and their pets together. We provide pet supplies, veterinary care, and help with adoptions. Visit our Pet Program blog for photos and success stories, or make a donation to support Hope’s Pet Program!
Important Tools for Planning Ahead
“Completing your advance directives is much more than simply getting your records in order. This is one of the greatest gifts that you can give your family. Dying is inevitable, but leaving your family with difficult, heartbreaking decisions is not. Planning ahead will save them from a heavy burden and will give them peace of mind when they need it most.”
~Samira K. Beckwith, Hope President and CEO
The Conversation Project
Discover The Conversation Project, a website with resources dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care. All too often, families struggle with guilt or uncertainty after a loved one’s passing. The Conversation Project will help bring about transformational changes, as our culture shifts from the avoidance of difficult conversations, to embracing honest and open talks about the things that are most important to us.
With the help of The Conversation Project, you can share your preferences for how you want to live – to communicate the kind of care you want and don’t want in difficult circumstances. Ensure that your own wishes – or those of your friends, family, or loved ones, are discussed and documented. If you’re ready to get started, download Your Conversation Starter Kit.
Five Wishes: Advance Directives
Hope provides complimentary tools for people to talk comfortably about their end-of-life wishes with family, friends, and healthcare providers. Five Wishes is a simple booklet that documents your instructions for your future medical care in the event you become unable to speak for yourself. There are several components, including a health care power of attorney, a living will, and a declaration of an anatomical gift.
Please note we only send copies of Five Wishes within our service area. To have a copy mailed to your Southwest Florida address, please call 239-482-4673.