We know he's not up to any more steroid treatments. But what can I do?"
"I just found out she has cancer. I don't know what to do now and feel so alone."
"He is slowing down but seems happy...I feel just as tired as he does...is it normal to feel sad?"
"It seems like she's doing okay for now. I'll look into hospice until the time comes."
Lisa Bernardez' Coco in hospice care.
You aren't alone! Your feelings are normal and we can help you with tools and resources that can address your questions and concerns. Class size is usually small, so you'll get personalized care to help you with your animal friend in home nursing care.
We'll also discuss:
- Resources to find home hospice support that suits your needs.
- In partnership with your veterinarian, learn about tools and strategies that can assist in the end-of-life journey.
- Gain insight into the grieving process, which in turn can help you cope with sadness before, during and after your animal companion's transition.
- Find comfort after your loss in the support from like-minded animal lovers.
Animal lovers like you seek the same loving care that their human loved ones had through hospice, and animal hospice and palliative care gives them the means to do so. Please begin to prepare now! Though this is a regularly scheduled event, we can be more of "A Help" while your animal is still relatively well.
Please note that attendance is limited. To ensure your place at the event, please "buy a ticket" with a small donation amount when you obtain a ticket, which allows us to bring the presentation at low cost. You are able to RSVP without a donation - please contact Michelle at michelle@AHELPProject.org to reserve your spot. Last minute planning? Please call to 916-705-9574.
Your animal companion is welcome; please bring a bed or comfy place for him or her to lay and a blanket if you're concerned about temperature. Consider bringing a photo or a memento for sharing if your animal friend isn't able to come or has already passed away. Tea, coffee and light snacks will be offered.
We meet in the Education Room of Seattle Veterinary Specialists in Kirkland. Go through the lobby, turn right down the hallway, and into the door directly ahead. We are looking forward to having you join our AHELP community!
Suggested fees for Comprehensive Care Home Visit range from $265-345 and include the veterinarian's service fees, which cannot be discounted. There is a $20 travel fee within a 5-mile radius of downtown Bellevue, with increments of $5 for each 5 miles.
Your AHELP Care Coordinator is Michelle Nichols, MS. Your AHELPer volunteer will be chosen based upon location and the best match with you and your pet's needs (eg: massage therapy, Reiki). Please meet our AHELPer volunteers on the "Our Community of AHELPers" page
The Comprehensive Care Home Visit includes:
- Your entire AHELP Care Team: AHELP Care Coordinator, veterinarian, and your AHELPer volunteer
- Veterinary Quality of Life Assessment, with all AHELP Care Team members to ensure the best understanding
- Up to 2 hours of additional in-person emotional support with an AHELP Care Coordinator and AHELPer volunteer
- Services by an AHELPer best suited to your needs: massage therapy, energy work, or family services
- Over 30 pages of materials designed to assist you in constructing of an End-of-Life Care Plan (see Follow-up Home Visits below)
- Ongoing care coordination to enhance communication between you, all your veterinarians and AHELP Professional Network Members
- Unlimited direct support of a trained and supervised AHELPer volunteer who is a massage therapy or energy work professional dedicated to your family's care
- Unlimited email and phone support
- Spiritual counseling by phone
- 2 hours of grief and bereavement phone support
Follow-up Home Visits are an additional $150 and either follow a Comprehensive Care Home Visit or a veterinary clinic appointment where we're in attendance. Follow-ups do not include veterinary care. Veterinary follow-up appointments are arranged directly with veterinarians' practices and all records are shared with members of the AHELP Care Team.
The goal of the Follow-up Home Visit is to develop a complete End-of-Life Care Plan. Included:
- AHELP Care Coordinator Michelle Nichols will meet you at your home OR following a Comprehensive Care Home Visit, we'll meet you at your veterinarian's appointment.
- If possible, the AHELPer volunteer will offer skills and talents that can benefit your animal companion's well-being.
- Review of history and home problem-solving.
- 2 hours of grief support
- Additional education on natural death, if desired.
- Detailed planning assistance.
- Distribution of written plan.
- Additional spiritual counseling.
- Please ask about our creative therapy in that can be offered in conjunction, or in a future appointment. You may choose from adult coloring or decorating a paper mache memory box that you can complete after our visit.
Our phone and email consultations can help you problem solve urgent concerns and offer you referrals to our trusted Professional Network providers. The most commonly requested needs are from caregivers looking for an urgent euthanasia, a special needs pet sitter, or companionship for caregivers whose animals are in the final stages of dying and are under the supervision of a veterinarian.
Phone consults are billed in 30-minute increments at $60/hour. Our goal in a phone consult is to address your concerns. They may be arranged separately or after a Comprehensive Care or Follow-up Home Visit.
One day we may be able to offer complete funding for all these services; at this time, we offer flexible payment plans for AHELP fees. Above and beyond that, all services are contracted with the veterinarians independently, and we are not paid referral fees from them. We pride ourselves in offering you the best-qualified service in a timely manner, customized to your goals for your animal's care and your current needs.
We look forward to hearing from you and being "a Help" to you, your family, and your animal companion.
How will I get over the loss of my best friend? We in AHELP have come to know that you don’t get OVER a loss; you get THROUGH your loss…
We commonly hear, "what can I do to feel better?" In this post we offer a few practical tips that can be "a Help" to you and your family during the hospice period and after their passing.
A ceremony at your companion's favorite spot can be a valuable in helping you get closure after their passing. Michelle Nichols and her daughter Zoe sprinkle Sora's cremains at the beach she had loved. (Photo: Chris Nichols)Read more