Category: Palliative Care


Preparing for National Hospice & Palliative Care Month

Each year we recognize November as National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. During this time, we encourage those in our communities to increase their understanding and awareness of end-of-life care. There are many misconceptions about hospice and people who don’t understand what it is. At Cedar Valley Hospice, we understand that. We feel honored to be a part of the lives of patients and families during this very intimate time. Hospice and palliative care empowers those facing a life-limiting illness to live as fully as possible, surrounded and supported by family and loved ones. Our staff is there to companion patients on their end-of-life journey, provide support for families and friends to help them understand the dying process. Grief services are also available after the death and are provided at no cost.

During the month of November, we will be at our Waterloo, Independence and Waverly offices providing education on hospice and palliative care. You are invited to come learn more about the services Cedar Valley Hospice provides and the resources available. Come meet the staff, get a flu shot or enjoy some refreshments. Cedar Valley Hospice is the original hospice and will continue to be here setting the standard for excellence in providing comprehensive palliative and end-of-life care to patients and services for those who grieve. Below are the events taking place during November:

-Waterloo Open House, Health Checks & Meet the Staff: Tuesday, November 3, 2015 from 11:00-1:00. Kimball Ridge Center Lobby, 2101 Kimball Ave., Waterloo. We will have cookies and refreshments and will be handing out information. Covenant Wellness Services will be providing free bone density scans and BMI testing.

-Independence Open House, Health Checks & Meet the Staff: Thursday, November 5, 2015 from 11:00-1:00. Cedar Valley Hospice Independence office, 801 First St. E., Independence. We will have cookies and refreshments along with a raffle prize drawing. Sweet Spot will be selling cupcakes and Hartig Drug will offer flu shots for $25 or free with a Medicare card.

-Waverly Open House, Health Checks & Meet the Staff: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 11:30-1:30. Cedar Valley Hospice Waverly Office, 207 20th St. NW, Waverly. We will have cookies and refreshments and a raffle prize drawing. Also, Bremer County Public Health will be offering flu shots for $26 or free with a Medicare card.

Also, as part of the Cedar Valley Hospice Speakers Bureau program, our staff can provide presentations on many topics related to hospice and palliative care, death, dying, grief and more. Presentations are provided at no cost and a way of giving back to those who share in our mission of serving those in need with care and compassion. If you are a part of a community group, church or business and would like to invite us to speak, call us at 319-272-2002. To see a list of topics and descriptions, click here.

We truly believe in our mission, and for 36 years have served thousands of patients and families. Calling hospice can be a difficult decision, but the benefits of hospice care truly make an incredible difference to both the patient and family. To learn more about Cedar Valley Hospice, visit or call 319-272-2002.

Pain Awareness Month – Benefits of Palliative Care, LINK

September is Pain Awareness Month and a perfect opportunity to focus on awareness of issues in the area of pain and pain management. It’s also a great time to talk about palliative care. For those that don’t know what palliative care is, it is a type of care that focuses on pain and symptom management and places attention on the patient rather than the disease or illness. Palliative care can be provided anywhere – home, hospital, assisted living facility or nursing facility.

Cedar Valley Hospice staff are trained experts in this area and we also offer a program, LINK, specifically for palliative care. LINK stands for Listen, Inform, Navigate and Knowledge and was developed to provide supportive care to those individuals and families facing a life-limiting illness and don’t yet qualify for hospice, or simply aren’t ready for hospice. The goals of LINK are: listen to patients and families, inform patients and families of resources in their communities, navigate the current health care system and educate patients and family members on health care choices and treatments.

Patients on the LINK program receive visits from a nurse and social worker that offer support, companionship and assistance. Someone might consider LINK if they have recurrent hospital admission for an advanced illness, difficulty managing symptoms, family conflicts regarding course of treatment or distress, anxiety or loss of hope. To be eligible for LINK, patients must be diagnosed with an advanced stage of a life limiting illness with a physical and/or psychosocial need.

The difference between LINK and hospice is LINK patients can still be seeking a cure for their illness. All hospice care is palliative but not all palliative care is hospice. Many patients on LINK might qualify for hospice but may not be ready to take that step yet.

LINK social worker, Erin Hubbard, says this program is beneficial to help those who may qualify for hospice in the future be prepared and know not to be afraid of making that transition to hospice.

Erin’s favorite part of her job is building relationships with patients and coming into their lives at a time when they need support, guidance and direction.

“We help ease the stress of their diagnosis and help patients make necessary decisions,” Erin said.

Having a palliative care program is another quality that makes Cedar Valley Hospice unique. Palliative care provides a way for those with a life-limiting illness or chronic pain to take control of their lives which helps improve quality of life. For questions on palliative care or the LINK program or to find out how LINK can help you or your loved ones, click here or call Cedar Valley Hospice at 319.272.2002.

Why Everyone Needs to Understand the Importance of Hospice & Palliative Care

World Hospice and Palliative Care Day

At Cedar Valley Hospice, we often hear from families that they wished they had called us sooner. This can stem from simply not knowing what hospice and palliative care are, why they are important and that these vital services are easily accessible right here in the Cedar Valley.

This Saturday, October 11, is World Hospice and Palliative Care Day. This is a day focused on bringing attention to the need for these services and the truly life changing benefits they give to both patients and their families. By creating more awareness about the importance and benefits of hospice and palliative care, Cedar Valley Hospice believes we can help individuals and families through the dying, death and grief processes.

The Importance of Palliative Care

Palliative care differs from hospice care in that it is for patients who are battling an advanced illness, but who don’t qualify for hospice care. At Cedar Valley Hospice, LINK, our palliative care program, stands for:

  • L- listen to patients and their families
  • I- inform patients and their families about resources in their community
  • N- navigate the current health care system easier with help from Cedar Valley Hospice staff
  • K- knowledge; educate patients and family members on health care choices and treatment options

Palliative care through LINK can be given at any time during a person’s illness, from diagnosis onward, and can be provided in conjunction with curative treatment. By focusing on supporting both the patient and their family, LINK palliative care improves their quality of life, enhances communication between the patient and their healthcare providers and is there for the patient and family’s physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs.

The Importance of Hospice Care

Hospice care at Cedar Valley Hospice is so important because support is provided to the patient, family and friends:

  • Care for the patient- we focus on making the rest of a patient’s days good days. This means our medical staff focuses on controlling their symptoms, especially pain, so a patient can enjoy their last days as much as possible.
  • Care for family and friends- social, emotional and spiritual support for family members and friends can help in numerous ways. From running errands and companionship to assistance with advance directives and coordinating with clergy, the Cedar Valley Hospice team of doctors, nurses, aides, chaplains, social workers and volunteers offer compassionate care in many forms.

Cedar Valley Hospice believes “compassionate care” is not just a phrase that is spoken, but rather a way of living and working every day to help and support the patients and families we interact with. Please help us spread the word about the importance of hospice and palliative care.