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Agapé Hospice opens doors in Camden

Posted: August 11, 2011 2:27 p.m.
Updated: August 12, 2011 5:00 a.m.
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“Hospice is like the spokes on wheel,” he said. “And we’re the hub. We’re family focused and patient centered.”

That’s how John Griggs, the regional vice-president of Agapé Hospice, describes the services provided through the organization.

Agapé Hospice is just one division of service offered under Agapé Senior, a faith-based organization that provides health care (and a variety of other services) for seniors across South Carolina.

Griggs is excited to announce the opening of Agapé Hospice in Camden.

“This will allow us to serve the seniors in Kershaw County in a much better capacity,” he said.

Griggs noted that the public may have a certain perception of what hospice centers offer.

“To think of hospice as being dark and gloomy is taboo,” he said. “For us, this is a ministry, and we’re here to offer a solid support system for not only our patients, but also their families.”

Patients in hospice care generally have six months or less to live due to illness and that’s where Agapé Hospice steps in to take part of the burden off the family.

“Hospice gives the patient’s loved ones the opportunity to come together,” he said. “For siblings that may have been at odds to come together for their parents and carry a family through a very difficult process.”

For Griggs and the rest of the staff at Agapé Hospice, it’s moments like those that are rewarding.

“You’ll never see that picture any where else,” Griggs said. “It isn’t about death. It’s about getting the most out of life.”

The Agape Hospice Foundation has given $1.3 million in indigent care.

Plus, Griggs said, hospice is generally paid for by the patient’s insurance or Medicare.

“If for some reason they aren’t covered, that’s why we have the foundation. We don’t turn away anyone in need of our services just because they can’t pay.”

Since opening the new facility, Agapé Hospice is actively looking for volunteers.

“We’re reaching out to the community for those willing to volunteer,” Becky Baird, volunteer coordinator said.

“Anyone with an interest in helping can,” she said. “We look at the big picture, what the interests of the volunteer are and we fit it all together. If you like baking, have pets or are musically inclined, we have a place for you.”

Baird quickly said “musically inclined” doesn’t necessarily mean knowing how to play an instrument.

“It can be knowing how to operate a stereo system or radio. Our patients enjoy music,” she said.

Both Baird, Griggs and the rest of the Agapé Hospice staff agreed they were thankful for the community support since they opened their doors.

“All the pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place for this office,” Griggs said. “And we can’t thank the Camden area enough for the support.” 

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