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Anyone who has experienced Hosparus Health’s care will tell you that we focus on the whole person, not just their illness, and that our care extends beyond the patient to their family. They will tell you that what we offer is so much more than medication and symptom management. Our care teams include social workers, chaplains and counselors who provide social, spiritual and emotional support.

This past year, we’ve taken things a step further by launching some nontraditional, integrated therapies and services like our newest offering — the Holistic Care Kit.

When patients and families are admitted to hospice care, they received a Comfort Pack, which is a customized, emergency kit containing medications that can be accessed quickly to ease sudden, unexpected symptoms like nausea and severe pain.

Some of our staff met about a year ago to brainstorm innovative ways we could enhance quality of life, and the idea for creating a non-medicinal comfort pack was born.

What’s in the Kit?

The Holistic Care Kit contains some things you might not expect, but these simple items can offer big benefits. It includes three essential oils for aromatherapy – lavender, orange and peppermint.

Lavender and orange oils can be used to ease anxiety and stress, while peppermint can help relieve headaches or nausea.

The kit includes our Celebrate Life book, which is a guide to help families write down their loved one’s life stories and cherished memories. Other items include a list of helpful mindfulness apps, a stress ball and a hot/cold pack.

During the course of serious illness, and especially at the end of life, patients and families often have a lot of idle time sitting around together. That’s why we also include a deck of cards, colored pencils and a coloring book. We know that basic items like these can go a long way toward helping families create more moments together.

Holistic Care Kits are currently being offered to patients who receive our care at their homes in our Southwest Louisville community, but we plan to expand the program to other communities later this year. We also are exploring the possibility of customizing the kits for patients we see in nursing facilities, adding items like sensory mitts, nail files and lotion instead of essential oils.

Our staff is very enthusiastic about this program because they know it’s just one more way we can add to the quality of our care.

Thinking Outside the Box

The Holistic Care Kit is not the only idea that came out of our brainstorming sessions. Reiki is a Japanese healing technique that channels energy through touch to activate the natural healing processes of the body, promoting physical and emotional well-being.

We’ll soon be offering an 8-hour Reiki training to all clinical staff who are interested in becoming practitioners. We are also exploring the idea of offering training to our social workers and chaplains to become death doulas. You can read about what a death doula is here.

As you can see, Hosparus Health is committed to doing whatever it takes to improve quality of life for patients and families, even if that means thinking outside the box — and outside what insurance will cover. Because we are a nonprofit, we can offer value-added services like the Holistic Care Kit thanks only to our generous donors.

If you’d like to support these or other efforts to enhance our whole-person care, click here.