Día de los Muertos Tradition Observed by Hospice of Santa Barbara

Community Members Create Traditional Latin American
Altar/Memorial at Hospice of Santa Barbara

 


Día de los Muertos altar on display at Hospice of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, CA, October 22, 2015— In recognition of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Hospice of Santa Barbara and community members have created an altar/memorial that honors all those who have died.

The memorial is located within Hospice of Santa Barbara and can be visited by anyone in the community who would like to make an “offering” or view the memorial.

“No matter your tradition, Dia de los Muertos can be a special time to remember anyone we were close to and lost,” said Hospice of Santa Barbara CEO David Selberg. “We want this altar to be available to anyone who would like to leave some mementos that remind them of a late loved one or to even just sit and remember.”

Día de los Muertos is a Latin American tradition to celebrate, remember and present special offerings in honor of those who have died. Loved ones create altars where “ofrendas” (offerings) such as bread, sugar skulls, figurines, incense, yellow marigolds and photos are placed in honor of the person who has died. Offerings are often very personal such as photographs of the deceased and their favorite food items and flowers.

Hospice of Santa Barbara’s Hispanic Family Services offers free counseling, support groups and education to help Spanish speaking adults, teens and children cope with the death of a loved one. Hospice of Santa Barbara has six Spanish speaking employees, including its clinical director and several counselors.

In addition to one-on-one counseling in Spanish, Hospice of Santa Barbara offers a Spanish-speaking grief group. From its beginnings more than 40 years ago, Hospice of Santa Barbara’s goal has been to serve all the children, teenagers and families of our community with free, compassionate and practical care.

Anyone in the community who would like to place mementos on the altar such as photos, personal items, or whatever they feel best represents their loved ones, may do so during business hours. (NOTE: Items should be labeled and retrieved by owners.) Hospice of Santa Barbara is located at 2050 Alameda Padre Serra, Suite 100, in Santa Barbara and is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday thru Friday. The display will be up until Nov. 3.

Hospice of Santa Barbara “volunteers” its free professional counseling and care management services those who are experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness, or grieving the death of a loved one. Hospice of Santa Barbara is also present on six local high school campuses to work with children and teens who are grieving the loss of a loved one. For more information about Hospice of Santa Barbara, including volunteer opportunities, call (805) 563-8820 or visit www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org. 

 

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Art Exhibition “Given to the Light” Seeks To Provide Sanctuary in Loss

Local artist Susan Savage solo art exhibition at Hospice of Santa Barbara begins November 4
  


Painting by Susan Savage

October 2015, Santa Barbara, CA— Hospice of Santa Barbara welcomes local artist Susan Savage, who will display her art at the Leigh Block Gallery located within Hospice of Santa Barbara -- 2050 Alameda Padre Serra, Suite #100, Santa Barbara -- beginning November 4, 2015. 

Having taught art for more than 40 years, Savage finds that one of its essential functions is to make the familiar a little strange and the familiar appear somehow unfamiliar. As a painter, Savage is attracted to common objects and the stories their visual relationships can tell.    
In her exhibit “Given to the Light,” Savage notes that capturing the intriguing elements of the complex reflective surfaces of silver bowls, which she has painted for years, stimulates her sense of adventure. But her true vision is focused on portraying something more than what her eyes see.

“In my work I strive to portray the interaction between seen and unseen realities, and in doing so I seek something sacred,” said Savage. “In these works, the transformative nature of light helps to reveal things in the darkness to give physical and symbolic life to my visual narratives. In support of the work that Santa Barbara Hospice brings to those who are suffering loss, this new body of work was created specifically to provide visual comfort and personal contemplation for those in the midst of grief, hardship and struggle.” 
Raised in Santa Rosa, CA, Savage earned her Master of Fine Arts at UCSB and has lived in Santa Barbara for 47 years. A retired Westmont College Professor Emeritus, Savage pursued various forms of media in her early teaching career before focusing on painting. 
Her artwork has been featured in many local invitational exhibitions, and nationally at the Canton Museum of Art in Ohio, Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois, Calvin College in Michigan, and the New York Center for Art and Media Studies.
On Wednesday, November 4 from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Hospice of Santa Barbara will host a wine and hors d’oeuvres open house reception for the new exhibit. 
Savage will donate 25% of the proceeds from her art sales to Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc., a volunteer hospice organization. 

Hospice of Santa Barbara “volunteers” its free professional counseling and care management services those who are experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness, or grieving the death of a loved one. Hospice of Santa Barbara is also present on six local high school campuses to work with children and teens who are grieving the loss of a loved one. For more information about Hospice of Santa Barbara, including volunteer opportunities, call (805) 563-8820 or visit www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org.  

Following Restructuring, Hospice of Santa Barbara Reaches Significant New Patient Intakes

Hospice of Santa Barbara, a nonprofit organization that provides free compassionate care to people within the community experiencing terminal illness or the loss of a loved one, is experiencing a pronounced increase in patient admissions.  Since program restructuring and launch in July of last year, over 115 new patients have been admitted into Hospice of Santa Barbara’s Patient Care Services—accounting for 18% average month over month growth over the nine month period.

 

To provide more streamlined services to its patients and their loved ones, Hospice of Santa Barbara restructured its programs to create a “continuum of care” in which patients can receive comprehensive care from the time they are diagnosed and move interchangeably among programs depending on what services they need at the moment.

 

 Its new Patient Care Services is now opened up to four levels of care: Care Management (for the newly diagnosed patient who may recover from their illness); Palliative Care Management (for either a newly diagnosed patient or a patient in active treatment who is not expected to recover from their illness); Anticipatory Grief (for the loved ones and/or caregivers of a patient living with life threatening illness); and Bereavement Care Management (for the surviving loved one after the death of a patient).

 

Since its restructure, Hospice of Santa Barbara has had a total of 1,868 face-to-face visits with new patients in need of care management (880 visits), spiritual care (511 visits), patient care volunteers (374), and spiritual companions (103 visits). The estimated value of services provided to patients free of charge totals approximately $273,848.

 

David Selberg, CEO/President, Hospice of Santa Barbara, attributes the organization’s substantial growth to its increased community outreach and education to other human services agencies and the medical community.  “In creating more access points for patients, including through our partners, we have been able to reach more people who need our assistance.”

 

In addition to community outreach and education, much of Hospice of Santa Barbara’s growth can be attributed to its new approach to creating comprehensive patient care. As part of the restructuring, Hospice of Santa Barbara extended the reach of patients it could serve by including those who are newly diagnosed and may likely recover.

 

Additionally, Hospice of Santa Barbara has now added anticipatory grief care for the family and/or caregiver of those experiencing life-threatening illness. While the organization had previously offered care to family members of Hospice of Santa Barbara patients, they now have interventions specifically for families and caregivers. Moreover, surviving family members, spouses, or caregivers are able to continue receiving care following the death of a loved one, including bereavement counseling and practical assistance.

 

For each case, 100% of patients and families were provided education and access to advance directives and advance care planning, increasing open and thoughtful end-of-life care discussions. Additionally, 100% of cases had an individualized interdisciplinary care plan which included short and long term plans and connection to needed community resources.

 

For Care Management and Bereavement Care Management patients, stronger physician and patient communication resulted, as each Care Manager/Social Worker is responsible for maintaining regular contact with the patient's physician(s). The supportive and seamless care provided by Patient Care Services has decreased hospitalizations and decreased the drain on the community medical resources. Only 16 Patient Care Services patients were hospitalized since July. Each of these hospitalizations were related to necessary medical treatments that could not be performed in the home environment.

 

Hospice of Santa Barbara is a nonprofit organization that “volunteers” its free professional counseling and care management services to children and adults who are experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness, or grieving the death of a loved one. Hospice of Santa Barbara is also present on area school campuses to work with children and teens who are grieving the loss of a loved one. For more information about Hospice of Santa Barbara, including volunteer opportunities, call (805) 563-8820 or visit www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org. Find Hospice of Santa Barbara on Facebook and Twitter.