Services - Specialized Services

About Integrative Therapies

At Good Shepherd Community Care, we understand that pain and suffering can be multi-dimensional and we are committed to a holistic approach to care. We believe in caring for the whole person – the body, the mind and the spirit – not just in treating disease.

As a complement to traditional modalities, Good Shepherd offers a variety of integrative therapies that can be utilized, as appropriate for each individual and his/her family, to enhance their care.

Legacy Program

As a lasting tribute to one’s life and spirit, Remembrances, the Legacy Program at Good Shepherd Community Care, offers several ways to memorialize your history, personal stories and values for your loved ones. For those who are coping with a life-limiting illness, creating a legacy book, CD or DVD is a way of ensuring that their memories will be preserved for years to come.

For more information about Good Shepherd’s Legacy Program, or any of the Integrative Therapies programs, please call our office at 617.969.6130 or emal Mindy Sieber at msieber@gscommunitycare.org

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Creative & Expressive Arts

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.” ~ Georgia O’Keefe

At Good Shepherd Community Care, we recognize that visual and auditory expression through the creative arts can improve and enhance the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of hospice clients, their families and those who are grieving. Our creative arts program offers several modalities to assist with cultivating the creative process, including collage, mandalas, sketching, sculpture, watercolors and music.

For more information about Good Shepherd’s Creative & Expressive Arts Program, or any of the Integrative Therapies programs, please call our office at 617.969.6130 or email Mindy Sieber at msieber@gscommunitycare.org

Modalities for Relaxation

Reiki

Reiki is an ancient Japanese healing art that works under the premise that we are energetic beings and sometimes our energy gets blocked by illness or trauma. Reiki is a non-invasive treatment provided through the positioning of hands on or just above the fully clothed body; no equipment is needed and treatments can be administered in both sitting and lying down positions. Reiki may help to increase circulation or decrease pain and may also help with insomnia. Treatments are provided by Good Shepherd Community Care staff and volunteers who are certified as level one, or higher practitioners.

For more information about Good Shepherd’s Reiki Program, or any of the Integrative Therapies programs, please call our office at 617.969.6130 or email Mindy Sieber at msieber@gscommunitycare.org

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Mrs. M. had spent the last 40 years in the same house. It was there that three of her children were Bar Mitzvahed and two of her children were married. For Mrs. M., home had always been at the center of life’s many important transitions. So, when Mrs. M. was diagnosed with terminal cancer, hospice at home was a clear choice.

A self-proclaimed “activist”, Mrs. M. had always been interested in learning about and trying new things. Therefore, when she began to experience pain, Mrs. M. did not want to compromise her values due to the limitations of traditional Western medicine. “I’ve never understood taking pills,” Mrs. M. reported.This is when she learned about Reiki. “An ancient Japanese healing art that works under the premise that we are energetic beings and sometimes our energy gets blocked by illness or trauma, Reiki works by recharging those energy batteries and creating balance,” explains Joyce Gallagher, the Good Shepherd’s Director of Nurses.

After exploring its benefits, Mrs. M. knew she “really would need to find a hospice that had Reiki.” When she learned about Good Shepherd’s Reiki Program, she knew it would be a good fit. She began receiving treatments from the Hospice’s trained Reiki professionals two times per week. During treatments, these professionals would channel energy by laying hands on or over Mrs. M’s body, in an attempt to alleviate discomfort and promote symptom control. Often considered an alternative therapy in the United States, Reiki has in fact been used in different parts of the world for thousands of years.

The results were astonishing. Mrs. M. found she had “much more energy and a terrific disposition” and recalls that it was undeniably “because of the Reiki”. Mrs. M. continues to receive treatments from the Hospice’s staff on Tuesdays and Fridays. A strong advocate of Reiki, Mrs. M. does acknowledge that this may not be an option for everyone. “You have to go into this understanding we’re not talking cure – we’re talking palliative,” she explains. While Mrs. M. knows she is dying, there is no doubt in her mind that she is truly “living” the last days of her life.

“It incredibly improves the quality of my life. It won’t lengthen it, but it won’t shorten it either and there will be no side effects. Plus, I get the added benefit of meeting some very terrific human beings. To me, what more can you ask for - except the opportunity to spread the word.”

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Massage

Touch can often be a powerful element for people confronting the end of life and can help to alleviate stress that the person who is ill might be experiencing, create calm, and increase comfort.

Massage for hospice patients employs a slower, gentler, technique. When massage is applied in hospice, the techniques are directed towards reduction of pain and relief from stress. Massage can be administered while the person is in bed or sitting/reclining in a chair, and fully clothed. Some techniques can be taught to family members and/or caregivers. Treatments are provided by Good Shepherd Community Care volunteers who are licensed massage therapists.

For more information about Good Shepherd’s Massage Program, or any of the Integrative Therapies programs, please call our office at 617.969.6130 or email Mindy Sieber at msieber@gscommunitycare.org

Guided Imagery

Guided imagery is based on the concept that your body and mind are connected and that by using all of your senses, your body seems to respond as though what you are imagining is real. Guided imagery is a program of directed thoughts and suggestions that guide your imagination towards a relaxed and focused state, in which you may visualize physical or emotional well-being, changes in attitude or behavior, or anxiety reduction. Sessions are provided by trained Good Shepherd Community Care staff.

For more information about Good Shepherd’s Guided Imagery Program, or any of the Integrative Therapies programs, please call our office at 617.969.6130 or email Mindy Sieber at msieber@gscommunitycare.org

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Pet Therapy

The Pet Therapy Program at Good Shepherd Community Care works by providing clients with proximity to animals, creating a comforting, nurturing presence. Pet therapy has commonly been known to increase socialization, enhance mental stimulation, encourage physical contact, decrease heart rate and blood pressure, and in some instances, create a sense of spiritual fulfillment. All of the Good Shepherd Community Care therapy pets are certified by Therapy Dogs International and are accompanied by their owner, or a trained Good Shepherd staff member or volunteer.

LGBTQ-Inclusive Hospice and Palliative Care

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We Honor Veterans | Level 4

Good Shepherd Community Hospice is pleased to announce that it recently achieved Level Four We Honor Veterans accreditation. We Honor Veterans, a pioneering campaign launched by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, intends to help improve the care veterans receive from hospice and palliative care providers

As a Level Four partner, Good Shepherd has committed to honoring veterans at the end of life and has demonstrated the organizational capacity to ensure that veterans have access to veteran-centric, quality end-of-life care.

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By recognizing the unique needs of veterans who are confronting a life-limiting illness, Good Shepherd will be able to support Massachusetts’ veterans and their families toward a more peaceful ending – integrating tools for addressing some needs which may be specifically related to veterans’ military service, combat experience or other traumatic events they may have experienced.

To learn more about We Honor Veterans, visit www.wehonorveterans.org.

Veteran To Veteran

Another Opportunity to Serve

Our Veteran-to-Veteran Program pairs Veteran volunteers with hospice patients who are also Veterans creating a unique opportunity to comfort and support their brothers and sisters in arms who are facing their “final roll call”. No one can provide understanding and solidarity like a fellow Veteran can.

For further information, please call Mindy Sieber at 617.969.6130 or email at msieber@gscommunitycare.org

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Testimonials