BY JIM HOWE
After a person is gone, it can be comforting for his or her loved ones to hear their voice or see their face again.
“It would be so awesome to capture that and to be able to leave messages for the future,” thought Chevelle Jones-Moore, a social worker at the Upstate Cancer Center. This spring, that thought led her to begin making videos of patients on the center’s outpatient palliative care service.
These videos offer patients the chance to talk about their lives and leave messages for loved ones. The video can include a person’s photographs, trinkets and favorite music.
Called “Sharing Life,” this service is offered free to patients when a cure is not an option and who are near the end of life.
The video is then given to the patient or patient’s family on a DVD. The patient must give written permission, and if he or she wishes to share the video for teaching or other purposes, a copy will be kept on file.
The palliative care team also hopes to offer “Sharing Life” to people earlier in their illness, as an extra level of support, says Linda Troia, a nurse practitioner with the team.
“The one thing that I’ve noticed so far in each one of our patients is that they are actually saying, ‘You know, I’m so glad I had this chance to do this video. Thank you,’ ” Jones-Moore says.