Visitors must self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms and sign in at the reception desk before they can visit Agrace’s hospice inpatient units and other areas of our buildings.
Visitors must wear an N95/KN95 or Agrace-provided surgical mask while at Agrace. Visitors must wear a face mask any time they are interacting with an Agrace employee. The only times visitors may be without a mask are if they are eating or drinking in the cafe, in a patient room without Agrace staff present, or in an enclosed space (like a family kitchen) AND everyone is up-to-date with COVID vaccinations, including boosters, if eligible.
If you have any questions before visiting Agrace, please call (800) 553-4289
News and Upcoming Events for Friends of Agrace
Agrace Adult Day Center Opens in Madison this Spring
Like most people, you may think of Agrace only for hospice care. But very soon, we will offer five main services that people in southern Wisconsin can use over time—often over several years.
Adding the new Agrace Adult Day Center to our “continuum of care” means Agrace will be able to help people in our communities:
live independently at home (Age at Home),
care for elderly loved ones, including those with dementia (Adult Day Center),
live better during treatment for a serious or chronic illness (Supportive Care),
be comfortable and supported through life’s final months (Hospice Care), and
find emotional healing after a loved one’s death (Grief Support).
The Agrace Adult Day Center will serve older people looking for social connections during the day, as well as families caring for elderly adults who cannot safely stay home alone. Many of the Center’s clients will have dementia or cognitive decline.
Kewana Jamison, RN
“There not many options in Madison if you need drop-off care for people with memory care needs, so this service is essential for helping our community,” says Kewana Jamison, RN, the new Center’s manager. “It will become even more necessary as people are vaccinated, return to work sites and cannot be with elders.”
Located at 1702 West Beltline Highway in Madison (near the Fish Hatchery Road exit), the Center has plenty of room so participants can physically distance. Eventually, we will serve up to 64 clients a day.
Those who come to the Center will benefit from companionship, nutritious meals, physical activities like chair yoga, and mentally stimulating activities, such as board games, crafts and “Agrace University” topic talks. An on-site nurse will be able to give clients the medications they need during the day. The staff will also include caregivers and a CNA dementia specialist.
One very long year ago, we were hopeful COVID-19 would be contained in just a few weeks. Looking back, I can promise you Agrace has done everything possible to continue to care for our patients and clients safely. And now, better days are coming.
Most of our staff have received a COVID-19 vaccine. We also vaccinated many of our volunteers early on. Our clinicians are still routinely tested for COVID and use protective gear when visitingpatients and clients, because we do not yet know whether people who are vaccinated can pass the virus to others.
So many folks at Agrace deserve praise for their efforts over the past year, especially our Infection Prevention and Supply Management teams, and those who led our coronavirus response and staffed our vaccination clinics. Working under such uncertainty and stress, they have been resourceful, patient and very effective.
In December, Agrace underwent a required tri-annual state review of our practices and facilities, and the result was a deficiency-free survey! We are very serious about providing quality care everywhere and having clean, safe buildings for our patients, visitors and staff. In fact, throughout the pandemic, we have allowed visitors into our inpatient units, as long as they follow safety precautions. Seeing loved ones is often essential to a hospice patient’s quality of life, so we have let families come and say goodbye while so many hospitals aren’t able to have any visitors.
Serving the community is our mission. Toward that end, in February we were able to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to local senior center members and Hmong elders. Our staff has also donated to and volunteered time with Second Harvest Foodbank, because food insecurity is a risk for some Agrace patients.
Through all of the trials of this past year, donors like you have been very generous to Agrace when we most needed extra funds to meet these challenges. I thank you most sincerely and wish you the best of health in 2021.
President & CEO
Daughter Follows Mom’s Lead in Supporting Agrace
Naomi, Agrace patient and donor
As Naomi’s Alzheimer’s disease progressed and she lost her ability to walk, her daughters knew they needed help to meet their mother’s medical needs. Peg and Judy wanted to respect their mother’s wish to stay at home and understood that Naomi was committed to Agrace’s mission—which she had shown through planned gifts.
It was time to call Agrace for support.
Over several months, an Agrace Hospice Care team came to Naomi’s home to manage her symptoms. They arranged for medical equipment and taught Peg and Judy how to safely care for their mom during this difficult time.
“When your loved one is dying, there is no such thing as too much help,” Peg says. “The Agrace staff always found creative ways to make Mom comfortable. The CNAs were so helpful.”
As Naomi’s symptoms changed, an Agrace nurse gently told Peg the end of life was near. That insight allowed the sisters to spend time together with their mother before she died.
Peg appreciated the careful attention of the Agrace staff who cared for her mother at home. She’d also had several friends who received care at the Agrace Inpatient Unit in Madison. This dignified care motivated Peg to make a planned gift to Agrace, following in the footsteps of her mom.
She explains, “Even if I don’t end up using Agrace services myself, making a planned gift to Agrace helps fill a need that really needs to be filled.”
Making a planned gift to Agrace through your will or estate plan helps sustain our care for patients, clients and families, now and in the future.To learn about the ways you can make a planned gift, please contact Courtney Polster, Ph.D., CFRE, regional development manager, at (608) 327-7139.
Musical Moments, Lasting Memories Made Possible by Volunteers
Live music comes to Agrace patients via iPads
A resident of the Agrace Hospice Memory Care Suites excitedly shares childhood memories of his sisters playing piano. A hospice patient with dementia strokes the faux fur of her lifelike cat in time with string music.
These moments are made possible by Agrace volunteers and volunteer coordinators using technology in creative ways to meet patients’ needs during the COVID pandemic. For example, a grant from Project Music Heals Us is bringing “live” music to Agrace’s inpatient units. Staff or volunteers take an iPad room-to-room each week, allowing patients to see and hear live musicians playing instruments such as flute, piano, cello and viola.
“It’s a wonderfully powerful way to enrich their lives during this isolated time,” says Barb Graham, volunteer coordinator.
Telling the Story of Your Life
Agrace’s Life Review program pairs a hospice or supportive care patient with a volunteer for an interview about the patient’s life. Volunteers like Marsha Borling then create a short book with photos as a keepsake for the patient’s family. During COVID, these interviews are recorded with Microsoft Teams, a video meeting and communication tool.
“We wondered whether patients would be comfortable telling their stories over the phone instead of in person,” Marsha explains, “but we’ve learned that the therapeutic benefits of Life Review have not been diminished.”
“One patient told me his Life Review would be a way his baby granddaughter could one day know something about him,” Marsha continues. “Stories about his childhood, raising his children, the pride he’s felt watching his son become a dad, and his regret that he can’t play with her like he wishes he could—it will give his granddaughter a picture of the grandpa she won’t get to know.”
The patient’s message to his family will be documented for them forever in his Life Review: “Enjoy your lives, and keep striving forward, even through the hard times.”
Thrift Stores Offer Large-donation Transport
Downsizing, redecorating or closing an estate? When you have a lot to donate to Agrace thrift stores, we’re here to help.
Our free Donation Transportation Service can come to your home in Dane County. We will pack up donations that are part of a large estate or downsizing project and, along with furniture, transport them to our stores. Our staff wear masks for safety and offer contactless pickup. To schedule a pickup, complete our request formor call (608) 640-0139.
Bridges (Virtual) Grief Support Group for Adults
Every other Wednesday Meets 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. on 3/17, 3/31, 4/14, 4/28, 5/12, 5/26. Call (608) 327-7118 to register.
Delicious tastes, delectable treats, unique auction items and fantastic music are still on tap for Sips & Sounds this year, but we’ll toast virtually in 2021. Choose your own comfy spot to join Agrace Friday,May 14, for our 19th annual event benefiting Agrace patients and families.
The flavor of Sips & Sounds will have a few new twists: tasting tips, local music vignettes and the chance to make your own delicious creation, guided by a guest chef. You’ll also be able to browse and bid on fabulous silent auction items. All registered guests will receive a box of local wine or beer, a sampling of foods, simple instructions for joining our virtual program and a few other surprises.
Lance loved music. He played guitar and sang throughout his life. But a rare degenerative brain disease swiftly began to impair Lance’s ability to speak. By the time Agrace Hospice Care was called to his Boscobel home to help, it was very difficult for him to talk.
Agrace nurse Tisha also loves music and finds connection with her patients through song. As she was playing and singing for Lance one day, he began to sing along. Tisha’s compassionate care gave Lance an incredible gift—the ability to enjoy his passion and find his voice again.
Lance and Tisha’s story—and many more like it—are made possible by your generous support.
Support for Grieving People—from Anywhere
If you are grieving the death of a loved one, Agrace can offer hope and healing. You don’t have to live near an Agrace location. And it doesn’t matter whether the person who died was a hospice patient. Our support is open to everyone.
Using your computer’s webcam, or a tablet or smartphone, you can join our grief support groupsvirtually, from anywhere. You can also have 1:1 grief support by phone. Please call (608) 327-7110 if you would like to talk about these options. We care about helping you through this tough time.
Personalized Bricks and Butterflies Honor Loved Ones, Support Agrace
Memories of loved ones leave an indelible mark on our hearts. You can pay tribute to them, and create a lasting impact at Agrace, by purchasing a personalized brick or butterfly for Agrace’s memorials.
The Butterfly Memorial trellises stand in the Agrace gardens in Janesville. Visitors can enjoy sunshine and solace while embracing nature all around.
Each purchase directly supports Agrace’s mission. Butterflies and bricks are added to the memorials once a year. To be part of the 2021 summer ceremonies, please visit our website or call (608) 327-7180 and reserve your tribute today.