UpliftedCare is celebrating a milestone anniversary. For 40 years UpliftedCare, founded as Hospice of Kankakee Valley, has been dedicated to improving the quality of life for those living with serious illness.

In 1982, UpliftedCare was founded to provide expert care, comfort, guidance, resources and hope to those living with life limiting illness. UpliftedCare provides hospice care, palliative care, and supportive care services for advanced illnesses including cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, COPD and other diseases of the lungs, heart, kidney and liver. Care is focused on easing symptoms, reducing the burdens of illness and increasing comfort.

“40 years ago, a small group of individuals with a mission to ensure access to better end of life care came together with a vision that is now UpliftedCare. Our scope of services has grown beyond end-of-life care and our service area continues to expand, but the vision of our founders remains our guiding principle – care for those who need us most,” said Connie Lemon, executive director, UpliftedCare. “We are proud to celebrate this huge milestone in our history and remain steadfast in continuing our mission today as strongly as we did 40 years ago.”

UpliftedCare, the only local non-profit hospice, has played a significant role in the community over the past four decades. UpliftedCare has cared for more than 15,000 patients. The organization has also provided compassionate, specialized care for local veterans focused on their unique needs at end of life and support, hope and resources to those grieving the loss of a loved one.

“Living with serious illness can feel overwhelming, stressful, frightening and unsettling. Often you don’t know where to turn to get real support. And there may come a time when caring for a seriously ill loved one becomes more than you can handle without help. UpliftedCare offers an extra layer of support to individuals living with serious illness and to their families that care for them,” said Katie Canada, director of community relations and development, UpliftedCare.

Through the decades, UpliftedCare has continued to expand services to meet the needs of a growing community. In 2014 services grew to also focus on holistic care by adding music therapy, massage therapy and pet therapy. In 2020, UpliftedCare opened the community’s first grief center, The UpliftedCare Community Grief Center at 3115 N 1000 West Road in Bourbonnais. The Grief Center offers those grieving the death of a loved one support, education, understanding, and a safe place to begin a journey toward healing. The Center offers support groups and one-on-one counseling. UpliftedCare grief services are free of charge and open to the public.

“We’re incredibly proud of our four decades of uplifting lives. We’ve never stood in one place but have continued to grow to meet the needs of our patients and our community. As we enter the decades ahead, we’ll continue to lead in supporting and advocating for those living with illness and for those journeying through grief. This is not merely a role we play, it is our true purpose,” said Lemon.

Care is available wherever someone calls home including their private home, retirement community, assisted living or nursing home. UpliftedCare provides care to anyone, no matter their ability to pay. UpliftedCare accepts Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance for services, but no one is ever turned away if they do not have access to benefits. Learn more at upliftedcare.org.