AccentCare opens Rhode Island Hospice Center

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While most businesses were getting out of work on Thursday, a hospice care group with a goal of helping those at the end of their life was celebrating a new milestone for their organization.

AccentCare Rhode Island, located at 300 Centerville Road, held an official ribbon-cutting to inaugurate their new space at 5 p.m. on June 6.

AccentCare, Inc. has served more than 200,000 patients in 32 states around the country and Washington, D.C., according to Vice President of Operations Adam Reed.

The company began operations in the state in March. So far, they’ve provided hospice care for nine Rhode Islanders for free, and are completing the process of being licensed in the state.

A family member of one of those nine – a 50-year-old diagnosed with terminal cancer – sent a letter that social worker Saul Richman read aloud during the ribbon-cutting.

“I thought I was prepared to take on the role of caregiver and hospice nurse for her – I was very wrong,” Richman read. “My years of experience meant nothing during her final days, and if it wasn’t for Melanie, Heather and the AccentCare RI team, my family would have been lost… They ensured that I was not the ‘hospice nurse’ and was only her sister. They both worked diligently to ensure Gia was comfortable and at peace.”

According to Executive Director Melanie Machado, AccentCare began serving their first Rhode Island patient on March 15. The group had been searching for a central facility since then, she said.

Building relationships, nurse Heather Ferretti said, is the hallmark of high-quality hospice care- both with patients and their families. That can include tough conversations, given the stark reality of end-of-life care.

Ferretti recalled her first hospice patient, who had severe liver cancer and had come to terms with her life ending. Her one goal was to hold on until Christmas, which she reached, passing in the early hours of Christmas morning.

“We try and help them to let go,” Ferretti said. “But [patients reaching goals] gives the families some kind of hope to have whatever kind of last time they have left.”

Doctor Rafael Bloise, who is based in Massachusetts and has worked with AccentCare for a year, echoed Ferretti’s statement, saying that it was a “privilege” to be able to care for patients and their families during a tough time.

With relationships in mind, the organization is already looking to build community with other Warwick healthcare services. Halcyon West Bay Life Enrichment Director Johanna Schiffer, who attended the ribbon-cutting, praised AccentCare’s work, saying they had already been a great group for the assisted living facility to work with.

Among programs AccentCare has to help ease those going through end-of-life care is a program for veterans that gives them a pinning ceremony and certificate honoring them for their service and another for patients leave mementos behind for their family to remember them by.

“We try to help our patients leave something for their family,” Richman said. “We all have something. It could be historical, or things our grandparents or parents left us, and the way we live, your accomplishments, the way you treat people, that’s your legacy. And we think that’s very important.”

Making sure that their care is top-notch is of the utmost importance, Ferretti said. She noted people never forget the care and help that their loved ones receive in their final moments.

Having the space, according to Machado, will help AccentCare to coordinate services and meet with families more easily to discuss the situation that they’re in.

Reed- who noted that out of all of the ribbon-cuttings of AccentCare locations nationwide, very few had as many attendees and people involved as Rhode Island’s- said that the day marked a milestone for the company.

“Rhode Island has a really cool community,” Reed said. “We’re really excited to be here.”

 

Source: https://warwickonline.com/stories/accentcare-opens-rhode-island-hospice-center,254042?