Every November, National Hospice and Palliative Care Month is observed. A sometimes uncomfortable topic of discussion, end of life care is a critical part of the retirement community industry, and an important part of retirement planning. In 2019, Country Meadows Retirement Communities recently debuted Lifesong Hospice & Palliative Care, a care option to give retirement community residents and seniors a quality end of life care option within their own community. As residents have come to know and appreciate the family-like atmosphere of the Country Meadows campuses, Lifesong Hospice aims to bring the same personal experience to this sensitive stage of life.
Here, Executive Director of Lifesong Hospice & Palliative Care, Angus Patterson, details the importance of hospice and palliative care options within the retirement community industry, why he is so passionate about the Lifesong mission, and how Country Meadows supports the Lifesong efforts.
Tell us about your position within Country Meadows – what has it been like working with Lifesong, and what were some of the most notable moments from over the past year?
As the Executive Director of Lifesong Hospice, I am privileged to lead a team of Hospice professionals entrusted to provide end of life care for our Country Meadows, Ecumenical and Providence Place retirement community residents.
Over the past year, there have been plenty of notable moments for our team, including the expansion into all of our central PA campuses, more than doubling the number of residents we serve, welcoming over 25 new team members and navigating the COVID pandemic. However, the most notable moments are found in the lives touched by Lifesong’s team. I am often contacted directly by family members expressing their sincere gratitude for the care our team provided.
This month is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. What are some of the elements about hospice and palliative care that you’d like to bring more awareness to?
Leading a program that truly honors the unique lives of the residents we serve is one of my greatest passions. I have spent my entire hospice career advocating for the hospice benefit, and access to all when it is needed. All too often, we see conversations surrounding end of life wishes and care options occurring very late, leading to abbreviated hospice care. Through ongoing hospice education, we hope to see that trend reverse and eligible individuals receive the full scope the benefit offers.
Where do you see this type of care evolving in the future? And do you feel this will be a shift in the retirement community industry in the future as well?
As the hospice industry continues to grow, more senior care providers are looking at continuity of care delivery models, enhanced hospice partnerships and hospice ownership opportunities. I would anticipate more organizations will follow in the footsteps of the Leader family in deciding to own and operate a hospice that reflects their commitment to senior care.
What are some of the ways that Lifesong provides peace of mind for retirement community residents as they enter this stage of life?
Our sole focus is providing high quality end of life care for the residents of Country Meadows, Ecumenical, and Providence Place retirement community. Lifesong was created by the Leader family in order to ensure comfort, to celebrate lives well lived, and to honor legacies with grace. Our team is comprised of highly experienced hospice professionals from within the retirement community industry who understand end of life care in the assisted living and personal care environments.
In your own words, what is the Lifesong mission and how does it intertwine with the overall Country Meadows principles?
The best end of life care starts with making the most of every day, celebrating the uniqueness of every life, and creating opportunities for our employees to provide excellent care. Country Meadows’ long standing mission to serve retirement community residents with meaning, provide purposeful work for co-workers and lead with innovation is clearly reflected in Lifesong’s mission to inspire our caregivers to create harmony for each unique life story. The two organizations share very common threads – service to others, a commitment to meaningful work, and innovative approaches to enhancing senior care.
To learn more about Lifesong Hospice & Palliative Care or any of the retirement community options available at Country Meadows, more information can be requested through our website. Often considered one of the best retirement communities in the area, Country Meadows has nine locations in Pennsylvania and one in Maryland. From memory support to restorative care services, and independent living options to assisted living or personal care, there is a wide array of options available to all residents. If you or a loved one are considering Country Meadows as part of your retirement community search, our dedicated coworkers are here to answer any questions and to offer a tour of our campuses. We look forward to hearing from you and assisting in your retirement community journey.