All too often, I hear families say they wished they had hospice care sooner. For someone diagnosed with a terminal illness or the relatives and caregivers of that patient, finding the right hospice program is something that can make those final months more bearable for everyone involved,” said Rabi Brunson, Agapé Hospice’s regional marketing director.
South Carolina-based Agapé Hospice strives to provide comprehensive end-of-life care in a compassionate, faith-based and dignified environment to every one of their patients and their patients’ families.
“Many people have a negative connotation of the word ‘hospice’ because it connects the idea of death with yourself or your loved one,” Brunson explained. “But hospice is so much more. At Agapé Hospice, we meet families where they need us, whether in their homes, in a hospital or a facility setting.”
Brunson said that a registered nurse will act as the case manager and provide care, support and education about the illness.
“Certified nursing assistants help the patient with hygiene needs like baths, shaving, nails and even light housework or meal preparation,” he said. “The level of care provided is based on the needs of the patient, and each family’s needs are different. We like to say we meet families where they need us, and this not only allows a high-quality of care for the patient but allows the spouse and family members the opportunity to spend quality time together and become a support system rather than shouldering the burden of being a round-the-clock caregiver.”
Going above and beyond end-of-life health care needs, Agapé Hospice offers a broader spectrum of benefits, such as advanced directives, help in preparing a living will and even bereavement services to work through grief following a loved one’s passing.
In addition to a compassionate and high-quality level of care, Agapé Hospice sets itself apart with its outstanding employees. Agapé routinely hires members of the local community to be a part of their team and empowers them to excel in their careers through Agapé University. This online training program is available to all employees to use for continuing education and career advancement.
“It’s hard to differentiate one hospice from another because we all operate under the same guidelines, but Agapé Hospice is made up of different people,” said Brunson. “We take pride in giving every employee the opportunity to be the best and to go as far as they want to go in their career. If you came in as an aid, you are just as important as the financial officer. That kind of work environment – one where you love your job and your job empowers you to grow – fosters a special dedication to patients and their loved ones.”
Agapé Hospice admits patients based on medical eligibility, not on their ability to pay. While Agapé bills Medicare, Medicaid and third-party payers, many do not have access to these or other financial resources. Tax-deductible contributions to the Agapé Senior Foundation enable Agapé to serve those who are unable to pay.
“Following the Mother Emanuel tragedy, we were asked to offer grief support. Two chaplains went to do everything they could to help the community and those affected. There was no red tape, there was no discussion of anything except, ‘yes, we are here for you,’” Brunson said. “It was the same during Hurricane Matthew. We evacuated seniors who needed help because it was simply the right thing to do.”
Agapé Hospice’s commitment to compassionate end-of-life relief, its employees and their consideration for the needs of communities across South Carolina contributes to the high-quality of care they provide for patients and their families.