We're celebrating National Nurses Week and all of JourneyCare’s extraordinary nurses! Social Worker Nancy Peter shares how JourneyCare Nurse Betsy Brennan exemplifies the dedication, expertise and compassion of our entire JourneyCare nursing team!
I was asked to write a blog about National Nurses Week and feel honored to do so. I’d like to share about an amazing Registered Nurse (RN) who works at the Pepper Family Hospice Care Center in Barrington, Betsy Brennan, RN, CHPN. Her experiences reflect so much of what nursing is about that it translates to all our wonderful JourneyCare RNs.
Barb had been an active, independent and social woman who was now bedbound in the home where she raised her family.
At 94 years of age, she primarily depended on her adult son and hospice team for her care. Barb’s family was planning to move her from her home to a nursing facility, which brought on anxiety as well as feelings of sadness and hopelessness.
Her hospice care team recommended art therapy to help elevate her mood. I was Barb’s art therapist.
I recently provided a music therapy visit to a woman named Edith, a 91-year-old hospice patient with dementia and depression. When I arrived, she was reclined in her padded geriatric chair with her feet supported and a blanket covering her lap. Her eyes were closed, and she looked relaxed and content. The room was quiet.
Her spouse Chester was present and his face appeared tired and tense. When I offered them a music therapy visit, he loudly replied, “Yes! I think that would be good! You never know what she’ll do!”
He shared that his wife was a singer, and although we did not suggest or expect her to sing or otherwise actively engage in the visit, we hoped she would hear us and know she was loved and not alone.
“What can I do to help?”
That question often weighs on the minds of the parents or guardians of a grieving child.
Some children instinctually express their emotions through verbalization, art, music and play. Other children need guidance on how to express feelings of grief and loss.
“It is helpful to children when the adults in their lives provide opportunities to acknowledge the grief everyone is feeling,” The National Alliance for Grieving Children states. “It is also helpful when children can gather with peers grieving similar situations.”
Bereavement camp is a place where children can meet other kids who are facing grief, and are given the opportunity to bond and process loss with them.