Family Programs

FHN Hospice offers several programs for families of hospice patients

The First Steps Grief Support Group
A bereavement group for anyone who has experienced a loss. The group offers support as the first steps are taken in dealing with a loss. The group meets every third Tuesday of the month from 10 - 11:30 a.m. in the Conference Dining Room at FHN Memorial Hospital. For more information, contact FHN Pastoral Care at 815-599-7240.

Living Through Grief
This group uses videos, books, speakers, and discussions to help participants learn more about the grief process, share stories of loss, and regain hope for healing. This support group provides a confidential place to talk about your thoughts and feelings as well as to learn about grief. The group meets every second and fourth Monday of the month at 6 p.m. scheduled in the Deaconess Room at FHN Memorial Hospital. Masks and social distancing and there will be a maximum capacity of 25 attendees. For more information, contact FHN Pastoral Care at 815-599-7240.

Managing Early Grief
This group meets for 9 weeks in the spring and fall. It is designed for anyone whose loved one has died during the past nine months. Participants learn about and share their grief with others who have also recently experienced the death of a loved one. This supportive environment helps participants to better understand their grief. Topics discussed include: How grief affects us, the physical side of grief, moving through grief, coping skills, growing through grief, coping with holidays and special days, and looking ahead to the future. There is no charge; however, registration is required to attend. Call FHN Hospice at 815-599-7240 to register.

See our calendar section for more details on all of our support programs.

Listen to Sean Hugenin, FHN Spiritual Care Coordinator, talk about dealing with grief over the holidays on the Dial-a-Doc radio program.

FHN Hospice provides ongoing comfort

Memorial Services
Held twice a year, these services offer times to remember loved ones who have recently died and honor their memory. Attendees are encouraged to bring a picture, a memento or a story to share. The services are held at FHN Memorial Hospital, 1045 W. Stephenson Street, Freeport.

Tree of Memories
Each December a gathering is held for families who have experienced a death. Specially designed ornaments can be purchased. During the Tree of Memories Ceremony, family members hang their ornament on our tree. The tree remains on display in the FHN Memorial Hospital lobby during the month of December. For more information, call the FHN Hospice office at 815-599-7240.
Watch our Tree of Memories video.

Memory Bears and Pillows
Hand-made memory bears and pillows are offered to families of those who have died in our care. Talented and caring volunteer "stitchers" can transform an article of your loved one's clothing into a meaningful keepsake for you. The bear or pillow not only provides a visual reminder of your loved one; it also provides comfort – something to hug and hold on to.
Watch our Teddy Bear video.

Music Program
Our music program complements the work that our nurses, CNAs, and social workers do to relieve pain and other symptoms that our patients have. Individual musicians — trained volunteers — who play the guitar and the dulcimer visit our patients in nursing homes regularly to play for them. The FHN Hospice Singers, a group of trained volunteers, go weekly to nursing homes and private homes to visit our patients there. They both sing to and sing with the patients – or sometimes just visit if that is what the patient wants.
Watch our FHN Hospice Singers video.

Pet Program
Trained volunteers bring their certified therapy dogs to visit our patients regularly. The physical and emotional benefits of interaction with a gentle, friendly pet are well-established. Our human/pet teams visit both in the nursing homes and at home, bringing emotional and spiritual support as well as physical relief.
Find out more about the FHN Pet Therapy program.

Caring Hearts Bereavment Program
Hospice helps prepare family and friends for the loss of a loved one, and also provides the additional support often needed after the loss occurs. FHN Hospice will continue to connect with families after the death of their loved ones. FHN Hospice volunteers and staff will make periodic bereavement calls to see if you have questions or needs. You will be informed about support groups, speaker events or other available services that can assist you with your grief. Home-baked treats are delivered to the family during one of the bereavement calls.
Watch our Caring Hearts Bereavment video.