The Upper School Hospice and Healthcare Service Learning course was highlighted by The Moorestown Sun in January 2015. To read the article by Brigit Bauma, click here.
Moorestown Friends offers an elective course in Hospice and Healthcare for Upper School students. Taught in conjunction with Samaritan Hospice, the course promotes awareness of the needs of families, patients, and caregivers facing difficult healthcare or end-of-life decisions. It also encourages conversations about the ethics surrounding the end-of-life process.
Students discuss how to provide support for family and community members who are managing hospitalization or grief. They examine the societal context of providing services to families managing grave healthcare concerns, and they discuss the tensions within society around provision of those services.
“This class teaches us about helping not only the patient but also the patient’s family,” said sophomore Jess Ferber. “Hospice is not something you should fear having to go through.”
As part of the course, students visit residents of the Lutheran Home in Moorestown, supporting staff in their efforts to enhance quality of life for the elderly members of the community.
“In this class, at first, it seems like you’re only dealing with the grieving process,” said junior Jonathan Colon. “But when we got to the Lutheran Home, people there were a lot happier than we expected. This class made me feel a lot happier than I thought it would.”
Junior Jocelyn Miles agreed. “What I like about this class is that we don’t just focus on loss. We also focus on how to enjoy life while you’re alive, and how to let go of certain things to move forward.”
The class also hears from guest lecturers such as social workers, bereavement counselors, and spiritual chaplains. Many of the guests are provided by Samaritan Hospice, a nonprofit organization that specializes in hospice care, palliative medicine, grief support, and counseling.
“You go into hospice assuming that you’re living the best of every day, but that you are headed towards the end of your life,” said teacher Priscilla Taylor-Williams. “It’s important to learn about.”