Lower Columbia Hospice
Caring with great compassion

Lower Columbia Hospice

  • About
  • After a Loss
  • Volunteer
  • Donate

About Hospice Care

For those with a family member or loved one with a terminal illness or at the end stage of their life, the very idea of turning to hospice care for help may feel like they are giving up. In fact, our hospice care in Astoria is a very specialized level of care that offers great comfort and hope during one of the most difficult times people face.

Lower Columbia Hospice is an outreach program of Columbia Memorial Hospital (CMH) serving Clatsop County, and it is the only program of its kind serving the community since 1981. Our mission is to provide compassionate in-home hospice care in Astoria and Clatsop County to terminally ill patients with an emphasis on symptom management, while also helping both patients and their families experience the best possible quality of life. Our people-centered care team consists of nurses, social workers, therapists, spiritual counselors, aides, volunteers, and massage therapists.

Hospice Services

Hospice care patients in Astoria and their families benefit from:

  • Quality medical care coordinated with the patient’s primary care provider
  • Peace of mind from having support whenever it is needed
  • Quality of life

Astoria Hospice and Palliative care services include:

  • Intermittent home visits by nurses and other health care professionals
  • Management of pain and symptom control
  • Medical treatments as prescribed
  • Instruction and supervision of family members in patient care
  • Personal care and limited household services
  • Assistance in obtaining medical equipment, supplies or medications
  • Physical, occupational and speech therapy
  • Short-term Inpatient care for respite or symptom management
  • Counseling and emotional support for patient and family
  • Spiritual support
  • Companionship and practical services by lay volunteers
  • Information and guidelines regarding insurance, financial aid, in-home support and transportation agencies and community agencies
  • 24 hours a day/7 days a week on-call emergency/crisis assistance

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Who pays for hospice care?click to open

Q: How long can someone receive hospice care?click to open

Q: Can a hospice patient still see their primary physician?click to open

Q: What kind of support is offered to family members?click to open

Q: Is hospice care just for patients with cancer?click to open

Q: How do we begin hospice care?click to open

Q: Does a patient need to be close to death before going on hospice care?click to open

Q: Where are services provided?click to open

Bereavement Support

The loss of a loved one is a profound experience. There is no one way to experience grief. Bereavement coordinators provide a breadth of supportive services to hospice families for 13 months after the passing of a loved one.

Resources and services offered by trained professionals include individual or family visits, telephone visits, participation in a variety of support groups, literature and other resources. Those in need of bereavement support are contacted by the program’s coordinator after the death of a loved one to offer support and encouragement to aid in the journey.

Grief Support Groups

Lower Columbia Hospice offers free bereavement and grief support group meetings monthly. Please contact Jeanette Johnson, MSW, LCSW, jjohnson@columbiamemorial.org, for more information. 

Your Presence Makes a Difference

Hospice Volunteers bring great comfort to those in need. Those who volunteer for this special program have expressed that they feel they get back far more than they give.

Hospice Volunteers serve as a companion for terminally ill people and their families in Clatsop County. The loving kindness of hospice volunteers complements the medical care provided by the physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and massage therapists of Lower Columbia Hospice. The goal of the care team is to attend to the dying person as a whole—mind, body and spirit—so that they can pass through the stages of death in comfort and dignity.

One grateful family member wrote:

“Our family is very thankful for the caring concern of the hospice team. The comfort they gave us during the loss of a family member was so helpful and supportive. Thank you, Lower Columbia Hospice, for being with us!”

Apply to be a Hospice Volunteer.

Be Valued

Our hospice volunteers are cherished members of the hospice team. Not only do they provide companionship and comfort to the patient, they also give each patient’s family members some much-appreciated support and rest.

As a hospice volunteer, you might:

  • Hold a hand
  • Give a hug
  • Read aloud
  • Play music
  • Make a sandwich
  • Chat and hear memories
  • Sit quietly
  • Feed the cat

While these are simple acts, they are acts of kindness. In caring for a hospice patient and their family, you are giving them the gifts of time and compassion. Dawn Young, a hospice volunteer said:

“There are many members of a hospice team. Each one contributes to making end-of-life care in our community special. I volunteer for hospice because I get to spend time with residents and their families at a challenging time in life. It makes me appreciate our human connectedness and brings into focus those qualities that really matter: connection, relationships and love.”

Apply to be a Hospice Volunteer.

Be Present

Hospice volunteer Celia Davis has been on both sides of Hospice care, first as a family member, as well as a caregiver:

“As a hospice volunteer and a mother of two, I’ve observed that dying has similarities to birthing. Both are highly emotional times of transition where individuals have significant roles. Entering the world and leaving are both beautiful, trying, exhilarating, and exhausting. Both can bring moments of intense sorrow and celebration. At either end of the spectrum, I remember thinking and feeling, as I did when I birthed my children and when I cared for dying parents, this experience is as real as it gets and I need to bring full attention and intention to the moment. My full self, intellectually, physically, and emotionally, needs to step forward.

“I do a variety of volunteer work but none is as deeply satisfying as hospice service. Family members and patients freely express their appreciation because for them, too, the filters are mostly or completely gone. An extended hand is unambiguously grasped. There is no doubt that in that moment, your very presence makes a difference.

“Both my parents died at home and we were assisted in their care by hospice teams. Losing someone is a difficult process; but the grief is lessened knowing that you gave your all. Hospice made that possible. I am forever grateful for the gift of hospice, both as a family member and as a volunteer.”

Apply to be a Hospice Volunteer.

Be Surprised

Across the board, hospice volunteers say that they receive far more than they could ever give. Volunteer Allen Partridge encourages others to consider volunteering their time:

“If you have ever thought of volunteering with hospice, don’t hesitate. My role has been as a visitor to patients in their homes. Helping people process the end of life is very important. Some patients are surrounded by family and loved ones, others have no one. My most rewarding experience as a hospice volunteer was visiting a person who had no one. We developed a true friendship over six months that I will never forget. Supporting people during this stage of life is the most fulfilling role you could ever play as a hospice volunteer—and it only takes an hour or two of your time per week. I encourage you to give it a try.”

Apply to be a Hospice Volunteer.

Be Prepared

Becoming a hospice volunteer is very different than volunteering through the hospital auxiliary or serving as a volunteer in any other areas. Should you have an interest in learning more about becoming a Lower Columbia Hospice volunteer, please call our volunteer coordinator at 503-338-6230

Lower Columbia Hospice conducts an annual 20-hour hospice volunteer training program. We believe it is essential to invest in training and development of our valued hospice volunteers so that they are well prepared for their experience.

We sincerely hope that you will consider joining our hospice volunteers and we look forward to talking with you.

Apply to be a Hospice Volunteer.

Give the Gift of Peace

Each day, Lower Columbia Hospice caregivers and volunteers give their time and assistance to members of the community who are at the end of life.

Your donations make it possible for Lower Columbia Hospice to care for all of our neighbors in Clatsop County. No one is turned away because of an inability to pay for hospice care. Donations help to cover the costs of skilled nursing care, medication and medical equipment for those who are under or uninsured.

Support Hospice.

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