A Tallahassee hospice throws a chocolate-based bash this Saturday. Tom Flanigan reports the proceeds will help families who otherwise wouldn’t have access to end-of-life services.
Lydia Claire Brooks is with Covenant Hospice. It came to Tallahassee in 2003.
“We came in to provide services in this area specifically to those who may not be able to afford hospice care. They may not have an insurance provider. They may not have Medicare yet depending on their age. It’s important to us that everybody who is going through dying with a terminal illness doesn’t die alone, has someone to take care of them.”
It’s a job that can involve a lot of people and resources.
“There are social workers, chaplains, we have what we call ‘Eleventh-Hour Volunteers’ to ensure that no one dies alone. We have somebody who is there truly at the last minute. We can have physical therapists if necessary, nutritionists if necessary, of course a whole staff of nursing, LPNs, RNs and home health aides.”
And it’s not just the dying who need care. Their family members do, too. Especially, Brooks says, younger family members.
“We have a program called ‘Camp Mark’, which allows children who have lost a family member to come together, meet other children and see that it’s not something unique to them. There’s not something wrong with them. They’re having the same feelings as other people and it’s okay to have those feelings.”
All of this takes a lot of resources, Brooks says…hence this Saturday evening’s fund-raising gala.
“We have a wonderful event with twelve participating bakeries and restaurants from around the Tallahassee…actually not just Tallahassee but our surrounding seven counties and they’re going to bring samples for everyone to try and you get to vote on your favorite ones. We’ll have some fun dancing, great music…a cash bar, there’ll be chocolate martinis.”
The chocolate will flow this Saturday evening:
“From six to nine p.m. at University Center Club in Doak Campbell Stadium. And tickets are available online at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org/chocolate affair’, or call 701-0137.