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We're Here to Help: Our Client Support Program

Spring 2005

Helen Beum and Julian Rush
Our Client Support Program is starting strong. By combining and expanding Choices' Caring Friends and Compassion's Case Management Programs, we have created a comprehensive program of service and support to assist people at any point along their end-of-life journey.

The Client Support Program was designed by volunteers and staff from both original programs, starting with the question, "Why do people call us and what do they need?" In addressing this question, it quickly became evident what our program should be.

The Client Support Program provides services at no cost to anyone who contacts us, regardless of diagnosis or membership status. Information, support, counsel and referral are available to all callers. If we have local volunteers in a client's community, the client may be connected with a nearby volunteer. If there are no local volunteers available, a staff counselor will work with the client by phone. Everyone who calls is served.

Client Support Program staff and volunteers are open to all types of questions. We offer referrals to local pain specialists, hospice programs, social service agencies and disease-specific support groups. We help people to complete their advance directives and talk to their loved ones and health care providers about their wishes. We advocate for people in nursing homes or who are receiving inadequate care.

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We continue to serve those who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and are interested in learning about hastened death. Those not yet in the terminal phase of their illness may receive information about stopping medical therapies, such as dialysis or medication, and forsaking food and water. Those who are terminally ill and are mentally capable may receive detailed information on other options such as the use of medications and helium. If requested, two trained Client Support representatives may be present when a client hastens death.

Last year our programs served more than 3,000 clients with direct support and presence. Now we have widened our scope and hope to reach even more. Members, local groups and the general public can reach us toll-free at 800-247-7421. Let us know what you need as you contemplate life's end. Whether it is advocacy, information, counseling or specific, concrete help, you only need to pick up the phone.

Call us. We're here to help.


Client Support Highlight: Advance Directives

Compassion & Choices members receive far more than advance directives forms. Our Client Support Program provides free individual counseling on completing and implementing your advance directives. Contact us at 800-247-7421 or clientsupport@compassionandchoices.org to find out more!




  
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This article was provided by Compassion & Choices. It is a part of the publication Compassion & Choices Magazine.
 

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