What is LifeCare?
Lower Cape Fear LifeCare (LCFLC), formerly Lower Cape Fear Hospice, defines LifeCare as access to healthcare that provides people with a spectrum of health services from palliative care through hospice care, at any point in their lives, wherever they call home. LifeCare also provides support and education to loved ones and caregivers throughout the stages of illness and the grieving process.
The local non-profit legally became Lower Cape Fear LifeCare on January 1, 2020. During the past 40 years, the organization has experienced a great deal of growth from the number of patients and geographical area served to increased services lines and programs. The new name reflects its growth and positions the agency for future development.
Hospice services are available for adults and children, including infants. The majority of patients are served wherever they call home. However, when acute care is needed, Lower Cape Fear LifeCare is the only local hospice provider that has inpatient care centers available for patients and their families. The nonprofit never refuses care based on ability to pay.
Although hospice care is at the heart of the agency, it currently serves almost as many palliative care patients as hospice patients. Palliative care is for patients undergoing treatment for serious and chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart and lung disease, diabetes, and more. Increasingly, doctors are recommending this type of care for their patients to improve quality of life through pain and symptom management.
Another staple of the agency has always been its bereavement program, now called grief care. Many people do not know that these services are available to anyone in the community who has lost a loved one, free of charge. LCFLC’s grief care program is extensive, and includes individual, group, and Healing Arts workshops.
In New Hanover County, the nonprofit has begun a pilot Dementia Care program to help family caregivers with the challenges of caring for a loved one with a memory disorder. LCFLC is looking for ways to expand the program in the future. Workshops on The Positive Approach to Care, which can improve quality of life for dementia sufferers and their loved ones, is currently being offered to local organizations.
Lower Cape Fear LifeCare’s community education offerings continue to grow. Monthly and bi-monthly Begin the Conversation advance care planning workshops are available at its Wilmington and Bolivia locations. The agency also offers LifeCare 101, and, one of its most popular workshops, a Compassionate Simulation Lab Experience to gain empathy for those living with chronic illness. Groups and organizations can request workshops on a variety of topics at no charge.
Lower Cape Fear LifeCare encourages community members to reach out to the agency as an expert resource for care and information when they are facing a chronic, serious or life-altering illness to empower them when making complex healthcare choices.
To learn more about Lower Cape Fear LifeCare and how they can help you or a loved one, visit their website at LifeCare.org.
Gwen Whitley is CEO and President of Lower Cape LifeCare which cares for more than 950 patients and their families each day throughout a nine-county service area. Learn more about Lower Cape Fear LifeCare services and programs by visiting lifecare.org or call 800-733-1476 to talk to someone about getting the care you need.