JEWISH HOSPICE PROGRAM
At Gilchrist Hospice Care, our goal is to help our patients “live well” during their last months, weeks and days, in comfort and surrounded by their loved ones, and to provide crucial support for their families during this most difficult time. Through our specialized program of care and services, we help each and every patient make the most of each day, on their own terms and in accordance with their individual traditions and beliefs.
Gilchrist has created a comprehensive Jewish Hospice Program, in an effort to enhance our Jewish patients’ experience. Through the program, patients will receive care and services that are sensitive to the rich tapestry of customs, rituals and laws around which they have built meaningful and fulfilling lives.
What is the Jewish Hospice Program
Gilchrist’s Jewish Hospice Program includes all of the components of our traditional hospice program, plus enhancements to ensure that our care of patients and families is compatible with their religious and cultural beliefs. Each patient’s care team includes physicians, nurses, social workers, spiritual counselors or rabbis, certified hospice aides and volunteers, all of whom have received special training in Jewish customs, rituals and practices, as well as health care decision-making issues that may arise due to concerns with following Jewish law.
Gilchrist’s care also includes 24-hour on-call support, medical equipment and supplies, medications related to the terminal illness and specialized programs to help address individual needs that may arise (i.e. Music Therapy for patients who need additional assistance with symptom management and communication, Expanded Care for patients who choose to continue to receive advanced treatments like feeding tubes and ventilator support).
Enhancements for the Jewish Hospice Program:
- A program manager with deep roots in the Jewish community and understanding of Jewish law and customs
- A Posek or rabbinic advisor, if desired, to assist with communication and decision-making
- Newly constructed space, including a Jewish chapel and family area, at our acute inpatient center Gilchrist Center Towson
- Oversight by a specially-selected advisory committee that includes community members and volunteers invested in the program’s success, as well as specially selected Gilchrist staff
- Grief services, including one on one counseling and support groups, offered both through Gilchrist and through a collaboration with Jewish Community Services, an agency of The Associated
How can Gilchrist help?
- For patients and their families, the realization that an illness or condition cannot be cured and that the time that remains is limited often causes great confusion and anxiety. Their new reality is often emotionally painful and fraught with questions and concerns about what their last months, weeks and days will look like. At Gilchrist, it is our mission to provide the finest care through the end of life by:
- Educating patients and families about the realities of the illness and guiding them through decision-making
- Ensuring that the patient is comfortable and their care wants and needs are met
- Supporting caregivers
- Shouldering some of the burden of care so that families are able to spend quality time just being a family