Faith Hospice introduces plans for grief support center

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Courtesy Faith Hospice

Faith Hospice has announced plans to construct a grief support center at its Trillium Woods inpatient facility to address an increasing need for bereavement services in West Michigan.

The grief support center at 8214 Pfeiffer Farms Drive SW in Byron Center will offer services such as educational resources, private one-on-one counseling, bereavement workshops, support groups and a variety of other services for those who have lost a loved one. The new space also will allow Faith Hospice to expand its bereavement services, create a centralized location for staff members to find and offer support to patients, as well as to each other, and enhance training and educational services for better care.

“We will have grief support groups that are for specific loss (such as) the loss of a spouse, parent or child, and we want to also offer education about living with grief where we will have some different educational programs on different topics such as being widowed,” said Janet Jaymin, bereavement manager of Faith Hospice. “We also want to focus on wellness — things like aromatherapy, journaling, chair yoga, some meditation.”

The new facility will be located in the lower level of Trillium Woods, which will create a comforting and welcoming space for those experiencing loss. Guests also will have the opportunity to experience the serenity and space they need in the wooded “backyard” at the facility as they mourn the loss of a loved one.

“We want to expand healing through art, pet loss and coping with the holidays,” added Jaymin. “We also want to have a prayer walk at some point (which would be) a space for people to kind of walk and have that quiet downtime for themselves. Maybe they just want to come and walk the prayer walk, and maybe that’s enough for them. They don’t necessarily want to come and talk. That’s all they can do right now.”

The facility will serve families of Faith Hospice patients and members of the public who have lost a loved one who was not a Faith Hospice patient.

“The hope is not only to serve our patients’ families but also the community,” said Tammy Veldkamp, executive director of Faith Hospice. “We get a lot of families that come to our groups from other hospices, or perhaps a loss in the community where the person was not on Faith Hospice’s services, but they also need help with bereavement or with family members, children, etc., and we serve all those people too. Not just the families of Faith Hospice patients.”

Bereavement services at Faith Hospice are offered for patients’ families following their passing as part of hospice care, which is funded by Faith Hospice.

“The bereavement that we do for our patients’ families is part of the hospice benefit, which is 13 months after a patient passes, we follow up with families … So, it’s a requirement, but we’re not specifically reimbursed for bereavement services, but that’s just something that we do because it’s a right thing to do for the community,” added Veldkamp.

Faith Hospice continues to seek funds to aid in the construction of the newly announced facility.

The company has raised approximately $1.5 million, Veldkamp said, and is hoping to reach its goal of $2 million for the build-out of the grief support center. Those interested in making a charitable contribution to the construction of the grief support center can do so by clicking the “Make a Gift” button when visiting faithhospicecare.org/grief-support-center. Donations also are accepted via phone by calling Faith Hospice at (616) 235-5118.

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