When you think about Hospice Savannah you probably think about dying. That’s natural. But it’s also kind of sad. Because Hospice Savannah’s programs provide care to Effingham families long before they ever need to think about the end of life. The Edel Caregiver Institute is a free community resource if you are caring for a family member with a serious illness or disability, whether it’s a slow progression of dementia, a sudden cancer diagnosis, or a gradual decline in health because of something like cardiac or pulmonary disease. Institute Coordinator and Effingham resident Tonya Hillis offers family caregiving classes to address and individualize everything from long-term care/financial planning, to hands-on practical patient skills and wellness services. Perhaps the most difficult and frightening diagnosis to deal with is dementia. Tonya helps caregivers explore its probable progression, treatment and prognosis and offers practical coaching and volunteer help. Reach her at 912.629.1331. The Steward Center for Palliative Care helps patients dealing with serious illnesses – again, long before end-of-life hospice care needs to be considered. Dr. Laura Farless and her nurse practitioners work with your personal doctor to help both you and your family cope with making treatment decisions, and to provide pain and symptom management. Palliative Care is paid for by Meidcare and private insurance. You can see Dr. Farless in her outpatient clinic at Candler by calling 912.354.8014. Full Circle Grief and Loss bereavement counselors help any child, teen or adult in our community at no charge. If you’d like some help on your grief journey, you can meet privately with Barbara Moss in her office in Rincon’s United Way building by calling 912.303.9442. For more information on these programs or on our community’s original and only Joint Commission accredited hospice, please visit www.HospiceSavannah.org L to R: Hospice Savannah Medical Directors Dr. Cynthia Carter & Dr. Julia Johnson; Steward Center for Palliative Care Medical Director, Dr. Laura Farless.