We offer a wide variety of complementary (integrative) therapy services to our hospice patients. These healing modalities encourage relaxation, pain management, and relief from anxiety, agitation or sleeplessness. The services focus on the whole person, working in conjunction with the comprehensive medical, spiritual and emotional support services that are hallmarks of our compassionate hospice care. All complementary therapy services are optional and offered free of charge to patients on an as available basis to best meet an individual’s needs. Services may be available to family members for a fee.
Our Complementary Therapy Volunteers
Complementary therapy services are primarily provided by our dedicated team of volunteers. All volunteers complete a thorough training program which educates them to be sensitive to the unique needs of those experiencing life-limiting illness. New complementary therapies are being added regularly based on volunteer availability and donor support. If you would like to offer a complementary therapy service on a volunteer basis, please visit the Volunteer page to fill out an application.
Our Pet Partners program brings the comforting presence of therapy dogs to a patient’s bedside. Pet therapy has been shown to assist with pain reduction, stress relief, emotional support and more. Pet owners (also known as handlers) complete a full volunteer training so that they are able to provide additional support and companionship to patients and their families. Learn more about how our Pet Partners Bring Peace to Hospice Patients.
Massage therapy has been widely enjoyed as a means of promoting relaxation, enhancing blood flow and relieving tension in the body. Patients who desire this treatment must have a physician’s order to ensure that it is appropriate for their medical condition(s). Our massage therapists are professionally trained and licensed in their specialty.
Reiki / Therapeutic Touch
Reiki and Therapeutic Touch are forms of energy healing which may promote a decrease in pain and stress by supporting the body’s energy field*. Practitioners of both treatment options direct a person’s energy by placing their hands over (or gently on) the patient’s body. The recipient is fully clothed and the treatment can be given anywhere the patient is.
*SOURCE: “Energy Therapies in Advanced Practice Oncology”
Art can be a fun and cathartic way for patients and family members to express themselves. Regional Hospice and Home Care has an Art Therapist on staff who meets with patients one-on-one in their homes and in the Center for Comfort Care & Healing. Art projects are helpful for family members and friends who cherish the created keepsakes and the bonding opportunities that sharing them with each other create. Learn more about our Art Therapy Program.
The joy of music is accessible in the Center for Comfort Care & Healing in several ways. Due to a generous donation from the Meserve Foundation, patients and visitors experience a backdrop of soothing music as they relax in our Family Rooms. Our “Milestone Singers“ are a group of volunteers who sing to patients and their family members if desired in the privacy of the patient’s room. Family support volunteers can also go into a patient’s home to provide song, listen to music with a patient, or play instruments as available.
Therapeutic Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation
Yoga generally involves stretching postures (asanas), deep breathing (pranayama) and meditation to encourage relaxation and flexibility. Volunteers trained in therapeutic yoga and mindfulness meditation help patients and family members use simple breathing techniques that help reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. Yoga and meditation do not require any previous experience and can be customized to fit the individual’s needs.
Volunteers trained in aromatherapy visit with patients, bringing with them essential oils to help evoke feelings of joy or calm. Fresh cut flowers, donated by Trader Joe’s of Danbury, also fill the Center for Comfort Care & Healing with the uplifting scents of nature. These floral scents promote a sense of familiarity that is soothing to patients, family members and visitors.
Although not a traditional healing treatment per se, everyone loves a little pampering. The Center for Comfort Care & Healing houses a full spa with a wheelchair-accessible soaking tub and a hair washing/cutting station. Volunteer Licensed Hair Stylists & Estheticians can provide complimentary beauty treatments to patients helping them to look and feel better.