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Gaston Hospice to Host Unique Event to Raise Awareness About Hospice


November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

Gaston Hospice invites the community to attend Thoughts in Passing, a multi-media event featuring the work of portrait artist Claudea Bicen on Tuesday, November 8 at 6:30 p.m. Thoughts in Passing is a project about embracing the shared condition of impermanence as a means to live deeper and more meaningful lives. This unique event will be held at First Presbyterian Church, 1621 E. Garrison Blvd. in Gastonia.

It would be easy to assume that most people know about hospice, but end of life is a difficult subject for many. The unfortunate truth is that many people may only learn about it when they aren’t in position to make decisions for themselves and even more unfortunate, many may never hear the hospice message.

“There are many misconceptions about Hospice, with many people thinking of it as something that someone experiences only in their final days,” said Richard Lahm, Director of Gaston Hospice. “But at Gaston Hospice, our care philosophy is built on the idea that when a cure is no longer possible, every individual deserves to live their best life as long as they can. Thoughts in Passing celebrates life and that’s something we do at Gaston Hospice.”

Thoughts in Passing

For two years, Bicen met with hospice patients in California and asked them to reflect on life and mortality. The culmination of these conversations is a series of nine audio-visual portraits that have been exhibited throughout the country. Bicen will present these portraits in conjunction with a Q&A.

Bicen is a self-taught British artist whose work has been selected for exhibitions including the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, the Royal Society of Portrait Painters at the Mall Galleries in London and the Pastel Society of American at the National Arts Club in New York. She holds a Bachelor of the Arts in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Oxford and an MSc in Social Anthropology from the University College London.

“The most common response we hear from families and patients at Gaston Hospice is that they wish they had known or been told about hospice sooner,” said Lahm. “Many people can benefit from hospice care. Our hope with this event is that people will come to realize that hospice doesn’t mean giving up; there is hope in hospice.”

Founded in 1981, Gaston Hospice serves about 1,100 patients each year 24 hours a day. It is licensed by the state of North Carolina, accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care, Inc., and a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Carolinas Center for Hospice and End-of-Life Care. And because if its affiliation with CaroMont Health, it is backed with essential resources and an interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals. Gaston Hospice provides the following services in the home, long-term facilities, hospital and at The Robin Johnson House, a 19-bed inpatient facility located in Dallas, NC:

  • Registered nurses to assist with pain and symptom management
  • Assistance with financial and legal issues from a medical social worker
  • Emotional and spiritual support from licensed counselors and chaplains
  • Certified nursing assistants to help with personal care
  • Volunteers to help provide companionship, run errands, etc.
  • Respite care when family caregivers need a break
  • Medications, equipment and supplies
  • Grief support for loved ones

To learn more about ‘Thoughts in Passing’ and Gaston Hospice, please click here.

Categories: Health