Living Life to Its Fullest

Joliet Area Community Hospice Considered the model for quality compassionate care for people facing end of life, hospice provides expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to each patient’s individual needs and wishes.

Hospice can improve a person’s quality of life when curative treatments and technology are no longer effective or desired. Like various sectors of the medical community, Joliet Area Community Hospice (JACH) includes complementary therapies in patient care plans and with family bereavement. Currently music, art, pet, massage, Reiki and aroma therapies are offered to our patients. These non-invasive therapies promote comfort and well-being and complement the medical and social support they already receive from their interdisciplinary care teams. Complementary therapies promote relaxation and rest, minimize anxiety and stress, release tension, reduce pain, helps with agitation and improve functional status and quality of life.

Aromatherapy has minimal side effects and is ideal in hospice care. Not only does it benefit the patient but also family members and caregivers. Our trained staff choose the right essential oils and method of application. They incorporate aromatherapy through touch and massage or through diffusers. Massage in itself is beneficial and when paired with aromatherapy, can boost the mood and ease the tension many hospice patients experience.

Reiki treats the whole person. It is a Japanese therapy for stress reduction and relaxation. Reiki is a popular and beneficial healing modality that is utilized for health and wellness. It is based on energetic principles and is practiced in many hospitals, medical settings, and in private practice all around the world.

Music can be a powerful tool at end of life by bringing peace and harmony to a hospice patient. Studies have shown that patients at end of life engage more easily when music is playing. Music therapy has always proven to enhance verbal and motor abilities for adults, teenagers and children.

Pet therapy promotes conversation, activity and emotional connections during a visit. Some patients enjoy petting the animal and having them lay by them to cuddle. Others like to throw a ball and play fetch, while some give the dog commands to do. People who love animals and have had pets of their own can feel a sense of normalcy from a pet therapy visit.

Art therapy is also beneficial to hospice patients as well as their family member and can help when dealing with anticipatory grief. Art is a perfect outlet to express feelings and in turn reducing anxiety. Adults, teenagers and children benefit from art therapy as a means of relaxation and stress relief. Therapies offered to JACH patients and families are administered wherever “home” is and by licensed staff or volunteers as required. “

Editor’s Note: As a hospice patient or family member, ask your care team about these additional therapies that may provide additional benefits to you. Submitted by Joliet Area Community Hospice, 250 Water Stone Circle, Joliet, IL 815.740.4104.