Wednesday, December 18, 2013

State of the Heart Hospice Joins With Versailles Health Care Center for Grief Groups

State of the Heart Hospice and the Versailles Health Care Center are collaborating on a series of grief support groups for the public. The first of the series, which is called “Healthy Grieving,” is Tuesday, January 7 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Versailles Health Care Center, 200 Marker Rd. in Versailles. The sessions are free and a person need not have any association with hospice care or the rehabilitation/nursing facility.

“We are taking our bereavement services to the community,” stated Traci Straley, Director of Social Services for State of the Heart Hospice. The nonprofit agency schedules Growing Through Grief support sessions throughout the year at the agency’s offices in Greenville, Coldwater and Portland. State of the Heart provides care to patients and families in eastern Indiana and western Ohio who are confronting a life limiting illness. Versailles Health Care Center, well known for its rehabilitation and care of long term residents, also recognizes the need for support in the community and surrounding areas.

Jackie McEldowney, a Licensed Social Worker at Versailles Health Care Center, said the series is the first such collaborate venture by Versailles Health Care Center. “We were thinking about the holidays and how people often deal with grief at that time,” she said. “From that thought, we realized we could help people at various times throughout the year.”

Straley pointed out that “no two people grieve alike.” She added that some may have grief needs at various times, such as birthdays of the one who has died, wedding anniversaries, and anniversaries of a loved one’s death. “Our grief support specialists can help in these instances,” she said.

State of the Heart Hospice is considered the “community resource” in providing grief support not only to families of their patients (for up to 13 months after a patient has died), but to anyone in the community who needs help dealing with grief and loss. Grief support is offered to adults and to children.

The quarterly series will continue in March 18 at the Versailles Health Care Center with a session called “Spirituality and Grief.” On June 17, the series topic will be “Feelings and Grief,” and on September 16, the topic will be “Memorializing Your Loved One.” A final session will be held December 16 and will focus on “Holiday Grief Support.” The time for each session is 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Marker Road location.

Straley said the team of bereavement specialists at State of the Heart will facilitate the series of grief support sessions. McEldowney said she will be in attendance at the sessions also and will assist when needed.

McEldowney said the staff at Versailles Health Care Center is pleased to work with State of the Heart to bring the grief support sessions to the public. “Helping people is what it is all about and this is an extension of that philosophy,” she said. Registration is required and this can be done by calling McEldowney at 937-526-5570.

For information about any of the services offered by State of the Heart, including grief support services, visit the agency web site at For information regarding services that the Versailles Health Care Center provides please visit the agency web site at

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