Due to the weather, the volunteer orientation scheduled for Saturday, December 7, 2013 has been cancelled. Those slated to attend will be able to attend a later orientation presentation.
Birthdays, anniversaries and holidays tend to be particularly challenging for the bereaved, painfully triggering memories and longings for times past. For many, Halloween has replaced Thanksgiving as the “kick-off” to an ever lengthening marathon of holiday preparations and activities. Even in the best of times the holiday season can tax physical, emotional, and financial resources. It should come as no surprise when grieving people start to feel a sense of dread as they contemplate the first holidays after loss. Since withdrawing into a cave and hibernating with the bears until spring comes is not a practical option, the best strategy is to prepare and plan for the challenges the holiday season brings.
Recognize your very human tendency to expect and predict the worst. In fact, most bereaved veterans of “first holidays” will tell you that although the holiday itself presented them with some painful moments, their anticipation was much worse than the experience.
Seek out structured opportunities to acknowledge your loss and honor the memory of your loved one. Participation in remembrance events such as the Hospice of Dayton’s Remembrance Walk and the Hope for the Holidays program, or one of the many advocacy group sponsored events such as Walk for the Cure, Walk to Defeat ALS can serve as meaningful opportunities for healing.
Involve other family members in planning for the holidays. A family conference can be an effective forum that encourages the renegotiation of holiday plans and individual responsibilities based on input from everyone.
Scale back or eliminate—decorating, shopping, baking, cards, social obligations. Even in the best of years we often find ourselves exhausted by trying to “do it all’; when grief is part of the mix, it becomes clear that “doing it all” is more than impossible.
Consider altering, rather than discarding, important family traditions. While it might be too painful this year to gather around the dining room table for the “traditional” home-cooked dinner, a buffet meal that everyone contributes to, or dinner out at a restaurant, may be preferable alternatives.
Create new rituals that incorporate your loved one’s memory into the holiday. Flameless candles that “burn” throughout the season, lighting a memorial candle at mealtime, decorating the gravesite with seasonal flowers or other items are all examples of small, but meaningful, rituals that acknowledge our continuing bonds.
The custom of holiday gift giving is often a painful reminder of the gifts and people we are no longer shopping for. Many find that intentional gifts to lonely shut-ins, residents in nursing homes, or individuals/families with material needs can be a meaningful way of honoring deceased loved ones.
Intentional “random acts of kindness” during the holiday season can be highly therapeutic. A larger than normal tip for the waiter or waitress, paying the bill for an unsuspecting diner, leaving change in a vending machine, leaving a book in a waiting room or bus station with a note to enjoy, sending an anonymous gift to someone you know, offering a kind word to a frazzled mother… the opportunities to look outside ourselves are limitless.
Nurture yourself. Take a nap, sleep in, soak in the tub, or get a massage.
Ask yourself this question- “If I knew that this holiday season were to be the last one that I would have with my remaining loved ones, how would I spend it?” Loss teaches us that the moments we are granted in life are incredibly fleeting and valuable.
Seek out additional support. Attending a grief support group or talking to a grief counselor can be of immeasurable help in meeting the challenges of navigating the holiday season.
Hospice of Dayton is now included in a select group of 60 hospices nationwide after earning accreditation with the National Institute for Jewish Hospice (NIJH). The accreditation links Hospice of Dayton with NIJH which provides staff training and insights on treating Jewish patients who are terminally ill, and access to resources and education about Jewish custom and practice that may arise while caring for a hospice patient who is Jewish.
According to Hospice of Dayton’s Team Leader for Chaplain Services, Gayle Simmons, “The training and resources available through NIJH enables our interdisciplinary teams to provide specialized care to patients of the Jewish faith who are at the end of their life,” says Simmons. “We can now offer appropriate emotional and spiritual support to our patients and their families as they go through this most difficult journey.”
BY MARY GAMAGE MSW, LSW
Need 1: Accept the Death
The first mourning need is to accept the death. It’s difficult for any child to accept that their loved one is gone and their life will be forever changed. Children may try to imagine that the loss never really happened; this is okay and perfectly normal. Eventually, with time and support from trusting adults in their life, children will learn to accept this difficult loss.
Need 2: Feel the Sadness
The second mourning need of the child is the need to feel the sadness. Children do not have to feel sad all the time because quite frankly, it isn’t very much fun to feel sad. We need to allow and encourage children to have fun and let them feel good! As caring adults, we need to make ourselves available to children when they do have their sad moments.
Need 3: Remember the Person
The third mourning need is to remember the person who died. As adults, we need to encourage children to talk about the person who died, share memories, and look at pictures.
Need 4: Accept that Life is Different Now
The fourth mourning need has to do with helping children accept that their life is different now. Their life has changed and so has their family. Their life will never be the same again, but that doesn’t mean that they will never be happy again.
Need 5: Think About why it Happened:
The fifth mourning need encourages children to think about why this loss happened. This is a very difficult question to answer, especially for a child. Talking to a trusted adult about the “why’s” in life can help a child “make sense” of their loss.
Need 6: Allow Others to Help the Child:
The sixth mourning need has to do with allowing others to help the child who has suffered a loss: now and always! It’s important for children to have adults in their life that they can trust and who are always there for them, no matter what. The process of grief is hard work; that is why it’s important to have people who are supportive to help us through it. We need to let children know that it is okay to ask for help.
First DAISY Award Presented to Gail Satterthwaite
Hospice of Dayton presented the DAISY Award for nursing to Gail Satterthwaite on Tuesday, November 12, in recognition of her extraordinary care for patients.
The nomination, submitted by a family member of a hospice patient, cited Gail as a “true Guardian Angel in our lives.” “Gail treated our mother as I am sure she treats members of her own family. The love she shared for and with our mom filled the room when Gail entered. She made sure all of us know what to expect from the beginning of Mom’s journey to the very end. She was compassionate and honest, even when the information she shared was not something anyone wants to hear about their loved one.” The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses is a national program recognizing the very special work nurses do every day. It was established by the DAISY Foundation – an organization for the elimination of diseases attacking the immune system – in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Barnes’ parents established the foundation in their son’s memory because they had experienced firsthand the skills and compassionate care of many nurses. The award is given quarterly at Hospice of Dayton in recognition of nurses who exemplify the values and mission of Hospice of Dayton. Gail has been a member of the Hospice of Dayton staff for 23 years providing care for patients in their homes.
Craig Turner, STNA,
CHPNA, joined the Hospice of Dayton staff in 2007 as an STNA for Coming Home. In 2012 he became the PCS Excellence Mentor.
Why do you choose to work at hospice and why do you believe in our mission?
I chose to work at Hospice of Dayton because there is no other time in a person’s life that they require and deserve the best care. There are few areas of healthcare that allow caregivers to minister to the whole family as well as the patient. Every single staff member has a share in our mission that allows us to serve something greater than ourselves.
Share your story and tell us what makes you believe “I am Hospice of Dayton”?
One of the greatest encounters I’ve ever had was with a stranger in the middle of the grocery store. She thanked me for what I do and she told me her Hospice story with tears in her eyes. She told me how Hospice of Dayton came into her home and gave her husband such good care when he died. When I asked her how long it had been since he passed she replied, “twenty-one years.” It made me realize that the difference we make will be remembered decades later. It is a great responsibility but at the same time a great opportunity. It also demonstrated that as a Hospice of Dayton team member I also get to be part of a 35 year legacy. That is why I Am Hospice of Dayton.
Hospice of Dayton’s expertise in caring for patients with life-limiting illnesses will be highlighted next week in Columbus.
Hospice of Dayton staff members are among the featured presenters at the Midwest Care Alliance annual conference for home, hospice and palliative care professionals to be held November 5-7, 2013.
President/CEO Kent Anderson is leading a pre-conference panel discussion sharing innovative ideas on how to preserve staff morale while increasing productivity and maintaining the mission of hospice care. As a leading hospice care provider in Ohio, Hospice of Dayton is actively engaged in forging new approaches to aligning care to achieve best possible outcomes for patients and families.
Sundowner’s Syndrome: A Challenge for Hospice and Palliative Care and What’s in My Bag? Management of Oncological Emergencies is the topic that will be presented by Dr. Cleanne Cass of the Hospice of Dayton medical staff. Dr. Cass will also join PCS Excellence Mentor Craig Turner to discuss Therapeutic Dialogue Skills for the Interdisciplinary Team: Solutions for Complex Conversations. Director of Care Yvonne Turner will share examples of the Hospice of Dayton Quality of Life approach in her presentation Quality of Life Team: Meeting the Needs of Our Patients and Families. Mark Curtis, a member of the Innovative Care Solutions palliative care team, will share information on managing Compassion Fatigue/Vicarious Trauma so that it can lead to professional growth for clinicians rather than career burn-out. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ruth Thomson will address the dangers of adverse drug events with her presentation First Do No Harm: Safely Managing Diabetes and Anticoagulation at the End-of-Life.
Hospice of Dayton is a non-profit organization, established in 1978, to provide end-of-life care to patients and families in southwestern Ohio. Medicare certified and accredited by the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), Hospice of Dayton has earned national and state recognition for programs and leadership.
The Pink Glove competition has just begun and Hospice of Dayton is one of only 4 organizations in the state of Ohio competing this year. The event is sponsored by Medline and the winner is given $25,000 to give to a breast cancer charity of their choice. Hospice of Dayton has picked Noble Circle Project as the charity of their choice. The Noble Circle Project offers support to cancer patients and survivors in the Dayton area. Please vote for Hospice of Dayton and help Noble Circle Project.
The annual Hospice of Dayton 5K Remembrance Walk will take place Saturday, November 2 at Hospice of Dayton, 324 Wilmington Avenue, Dayton.
This marks the ninth annual 5-K Remembrance Walk, which involves teams and individuals who walk in the memory of lost loved ones. The route through Hospice of Dayton’s “neighborhood” includes a 5K (walk, run, stroller push, etc) and a shorter 3K option. Proceeds from the walk benefit the mission of Hospice of Dayton, the area’s first and largest nonprofit hospice service.
Retired WDTN TV2 Chief Meteorologist Carl Nichols will serve as the Grand Marshall of the Remembrance Walk. Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. with the walk beginning at 10:00 am. Parking will be available at The Sanctuary, the Belmont Physicians practice (enter via entrance below the Hospice of Dayton entrance on Wilmington and follow signs), and also the Southview Children and Family Center off of Thorpe. All will be serviced with shuttle services to the Hospice of Dayton campus. The event goes on rain or shine and light refreshments and lots of door prizes add to the festivities.
The entry fee for adult walkers is $25, while youth 7 and under are charged $15 (no fee is charged for children NOT wanting a t-shirt). Those who register before October 24, 2013 can be assured of receiving a 5K Remembrance Walk T-shirt on the morning of the event. After that date participants are still able to pay on site and participate, but shirts may not be available. Registration information for teams and individuals is available by contacting Marsha Bernard at Hospice of Dayton Foundation, 937- 258-2895 or by clicking here. Special team awards will be presented to teams competing for top spots in numbers of walkers and amounts of dollars raised.
Donor dollars enable us to provide an array and level of services to assure the highest quality of care and the best quality of life for patients. Community support is essential to the bereavement services, complimentary services and clinical expertise available to our patients, families and the community.
Hospice of Dayton is a non-profit community hospice that provides care for those at the end-of-life. Services are available for patients diagnosed with cancer, heart and lung diseases, Alzheimer’s and dementia, HIV/AIDS, liver disease, renal failure, ALS and other diseases. The costs of hospice care are usually covered through insurance, Medicare or Medicaid benefits, but community support assures that Hospice of Dayton services are available regardless of ability to pay. Over 600 patients and families are currently receiving care from Hospice of Dayton on a daily basis. Additional information is available by calling 937-258-5537. Special moments happen every day; it’s our Mission to make sure patients and families enjoy the time they have together.