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Register Now for August Volunteer Training

Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton will hold a new volunteer orientation on August 19, 2017.

Hospice volunteers play a vital role with the interdisciplinary teams serving hospice patients and their families. Maureen Swarts, Volunteer Services Manager, welcomes volunteers from all backgrounds and of all ages.  “Volunteers give from their hearts and enable us to touch the lives of patients and families with enhanced compassion and care. They are essential to our mission of providing superior care and superior services.”

Hospice volunteers provide a variety of support and services including respite care, shopping, delivery of medications and supplies, massage, beautician and barber services and gardening.  Volunteers also serve as ambassadors sharing information about hospice care, as friendly visitors and in office support roles. Volunteer training acquaints new volunteers with information on

  • History and goals of end-of-life care
  • Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton history
  • Role of Volunteers and opportunities
  • Confidentiality, infection control, and safety
  • Boundaries
  • Effective listening
  • Loss and grief

For additional information please visit www.hospiceofdayton.org/volunteers/

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Donate to Our Volunteer Department for Give Something Away Day!

Our Volunteers’ mission is to enhance the quality of life for the patients and families we have the privilege of serving. They do that in many ways – one way is by giving comforting gifts or crafts to help patients and families experience joy, comfort, and ease. On Give Something Away Day, we hope you consider donating any of the items below:

  • Zippers for activity mats
  • Curling ribbon for balloon bouquets
  • Yarn (all colors)
  • Cardstock (all colors)
  • Poly-fil 100% premium polyester fiberfill
  • Small stuffed animals
  • Crayons
  • Pencils
  • Journals
  • Decks of playing cards
  • Individually wrapped candy
  • Activity/coloring books
  • Travel size lotions
  • Nail polish
  • Crossword books
  • Word search books
  • Sudoku books
  • Stickers
  • Non-noise making toys (i.e. slinkies, bouncing balls, mazes)

For more details about these items, such as how many we need, or if you are a crafter who is interested in supporting our mission, please contact Volunteer Services at 937-258-5536. We thank you for supporting the Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton mission and are grateful for your generosity.

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The World Shrinks for Those with Alzheimer’s & Dementia

Alzheimer’s Dementia and dementia in general are a series of continuing losses. When individuals suffering from dementia reach the point of no longer being able to be continent, speak meaningfully, and need assistance with all aspects of activities of daily living, they may be ready for hospice care. At this point, dementia is quite advanced and brain tissue loss is advancing. Specifically, the individual has lost the ability to speak more than a half dozen different words, is incontinent most of the time, and often cannot ambulate without some type of assistance. There are other issues as well.

Many individuals will be highly distractible during meals, cannot tolerate stimuli such as noise, feel fearful of caregivers trying to give personal care, fearful of leaving a familiar facility, and may have increasing agitation. Further, loss of recognition of loved ones is common as the disease progresses. However, other modes of communication are often effective such as massage, music, aromatherapy, or just calm presence.

Background concept wordcloud illustration of Alzheimer’s disease

What does this mean for the family and the individual’s caregivers?

Those who are fearful are the most likely to refuse baths and showers, or personal care even if they are soiled or wet. If the caregiver rushes to complete the care, agitation and aggression are likely to be a problem. The individual needs to be approached calmly, and assured they are safe. The going may be slow and only partial completion of a task may take place. For example, if the individual is taken for a shower, is the area pleasant and conducive to lowering anxiety? If not, try adding soothing music, seat the patient and begin a partial bath sitting on a chair or toilet. Then move to the more intimate areas. This may decrease the fearfulness. Always assure that the individual is safe with the caregiver.

As more and more of the brain is destroyed, the individual may have problems with recognizing and using utensils to eat. They may have problems with food pocketing, chewing, and swallowing. The dining room experience may be too stimulating. Activities that are over stimulating may be a problem for the individual who can no longer process this information. Care modifications here include using finger foods, softer foods, a quiet dining area, one-to-one feeding, and allowing adequate time for the eating experience. Thickener may be added to fluids if the individual is prone to choking on thin liquids.

Avoid the phrase “do you remember….”

The process of the disease is loss of more and more brain tissue. This affects time awake; movement, ability to sit up, and ability to speak and remember. Family and caregivers need to introduce themselves with each encounter. Avoid the phrase “do you remember….” At this point, meals may be missed due to inability to arouse the individual. More and more time may be spent in bed and now attention to skin is important. Seating adaptations may need to be put in place to support trunk and head. Music is often a way to reach those at this stage as well as aromatherapy. Keeping the environment calm and not over-stimulating enhances comfort. Individuals will eat less and less and finally stop eating as the brain is extensively damaged by the disease process.

How Hospice Helps the Dementia Patient

End-of-life care is aimed at these losses. The hospice team helps family and patients to adapt and understand these changes as the natural disease progresses. Feeding tubes are not recommended as patients will often develop aspiration pneumonias and may not be able to handle the formulas for tube feeding. The process of placing a tube can be overwhelming to a patient who cannot process the experience. Avoidance of hospitalization is important as the patient with dementia’s world grows smaller and smaller. Hospital visits remove the patient from familiar surrounds, noises, and caregivers and can be quite frightening to the individual who then may become aggressive or agitated. This increases suffering for the patient and family as well as bringing more harm than good. Good end-of-life care is aimed at meeting the patient where he/she is in the dementia process and adapting to that place and walking with patient and family for the journey to the end of life. Key to good end-of-life care is education of the disease process and translating that to care interventions for the individual to maintain a good quality of life until time of death.

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia? Join our Alzheimer’s Educational Series every last Tuesday of the month. Register and learn more by clicking here.

Find local activities and information from the Alzheimer’s Association Dayton Chapter by clicking here.

nancytrimble

About the Author:

Nancy Sterling Trimble, PhD, RN, CNP, has served eight years at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton as a Clinical Team Liaison and the focused care specialist for geriatrics and neurology with over 30 years of experience. She has served as a faculty member of Indiana Wesleyan University, Capitol University and Wright State University. Nancy has also contributed numerous articles to clinical publications.

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Drawbacks of Daylight Savings for Seniors and those with Serious Illness

We join in celebrating the arrival of spring, but for many the adjustment to Daylight Savings Time that comes with it poses special health concerns. As clocks spring forward we not only lose an hour of sleep, we need several days to reset our internal clocks.

Older adults and those with chronic illnesses can find the transition particularly difficult. Sleep deprivation is already a common complaint for seniors and those who are ill. According to Nancy Trimble, an Advance Practice Nurse with Ohio’s Hospice, “The elderly, who already have fragmented sleep patterns due to aging, may suffer more sleep disturbances, worsening of sundowning in dementia, and are at a higher risk of heart attack in the first 3 days following the Daylight Savings Time change due to the stress of sleep disturbance. People can be groggy, leading to more auto and on the job accidents. For seniors it may also affect their accuracy in taking medications correctly. Falls due to sleepiness may also ensue.”

Trimble offers some recommendations for easing into the time switch. “Avoidance of sleeping pills, alcohol, and caffeine will help, as well as gradually adjusting bedtimes and awakening, and being aware of the potential changes that might occur. It may be necessary to speak to your health care provider on how to adjust scheduled medications such as insulin with the time change. Exposure to more light also is helpful in resetting the circadian (light, hormone, wake/sleep cycle) rhythms. Seniors tend to take more time to adjust to the time changes and may need a little help during those times.”

The following are some additional suggestions to help those most affected by the change to Daylight Savings Time:

  • Maintain a routine. As much as possible, maintain regular sleep patterns, adjusting the time of going to bed and waking up by no more than 15-20 minutes. This helps keep your personal sleep rhythm steady.
  • Avoid the enemies of good sleep. Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol in the evening; avoid over-the-counter sleep aids; and avoid napping.
  • Exercise. Walking, biking, swimming can all help you fall asleep more easily.
  • Take a bath. A warm bath before bed can help the body relax and produce the natural sleep-hormone melatonin.
  • Set the stage for sleep. Make sure your sleep environment is comfortable and quiet. Turn off that TV!
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Bears, Bears, Bears at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton

Oakwood High School students & Lasertoma group give stuffed teddy bears to patients at Ohio's Hospice of Dayton Hospice House.No lions. No tigers. But lots and lots of bears, bears, bears.

With a mission of visiting and cheering patients, LaSertoma of Dayton Club members and students from Oakwood High School bring stuffed bears monthly to deliver to patients at the Hospice House on Wilmington Avenue in Dayton. LaSertoma member Pam Stephens can’t say how many bears have been delivered, but shares “LaSertoma started this project in the 1990s. We bring 40 bears with us 7 or 8 months out of the year.” That’s a lot of bears!

And a lot of smiles.

Delivery of the bears is a heartwarming experience for everyone involved. “We have had some patients – usually men – tell us they never had a teddy bear before, “ Pam says. “They hug on tightly when they get one.”

Oakwood students support the project and Stephens says patients really enjoy the interaction with students. “They are wonderful with the patients,” Stephens observes. “Many of them have had grandparents at hospice, so they have a special sense of the value in visiting and connecting.”

Each bear is presented along with a poem written by long-time LaSertoma member and hospice volunteer Helen Fornes:

To patients we give huggie bears

To help your day be brighter,

This warm and oh so loving petOakwood High School students & Lasertoma group give stuffed teddy bears to patients at Ohio's Hospice of Dayton Hospice House.

Will make your burdens light

 

Oakwood High School students & Lasertoma group give stuffed teddy bears to patients at Ohio's Hospice of Dayton Hospice House.Bears and Hugs bring joy to all

A loving touch to share

Hug-A-Bear Day at the Hospice of Dayton

Is our way to show we care,

LaSertoma receives some financial support from the students at St. Luke Elementary School in Beavercreek, who save lunch money to assist in the purchase of bears. Additional donations are accepted to help support the bear gift program. Please contact Pam Stephens by email at pamstephens@daytonlasertoma.com.

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African American Congressional Medal Winner Among Those Honored at American Pride Memorial

During Black History Month, we highlight John Lee “Jack” Cooper, who was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal. We honor him at our American Pride Memorial.Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton has the privilege to serve Veterans every day. Our American Pride program is designed to assure that the unique needs of Veterans are addressed and our American Pride Memorial celebrates those who have sacrificed to assure American freedom.

During Black History Month, we highlight John Lee “Jack” Cooper, who was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal.

Cooper was one of an estimated 20,000 black Americans who enlisted in the Marine Corps between 1942 and 1949. The enlistees were the first to integrate the U.S. Armed Forces. Sent to Montford Point, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina for training, Cooper and his fellow black troops were segregated and trained separately from white soldiers. That changed when troops served side-by side in the war theaters of World War II. Cooper served in the South Pacific from 1943 to 1945. Upon his return to the states, he and his wife Gladys settled in Dayton, where he worked for 36 years and retired from Delphi division of General Motors.

Congress designated the Montford Point Marines as Congressional Gold Medal honorees in 2012, but were unable to present Cooper’s medal to him when they were unable to locate him. A family member rectified the failure, making sure that Cooper received the honor in 2013 while he was a patient with Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. U.S. Representative Michael Turner and Dayton Mayor Gary Leitzell were among those present to honor the 91-year old Cooper when the medal was presented.

We are proud to include “Jack” Cooper among those Veterans recognized at our American Pride Memorial. We invite anyone in the greater Dayton area with information about a Veteran who should be recognized for their service to submit information and be included in our Memorial listings.

We celebrate the service and courage of “Jack” Cooper, honoring the memory of a man who helped make history and change history as an early pioneer of civil rights.

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Our Top 10 Social Media Stories of the Year

It’s been a wonderful year – from staff recognitions to patients and families sharing life’s precious moments, we have enjoyed sharing stories of compassion, joy and success with our community.

Here are the top 10 stories from 2016 that you stopped to enjoy in your newsfeed:

10. PARO – Our Pet Therapy Tool

The PARO robotic seal we use as part of our Pet Therapy Program interested many of our social media followers. In the video below, Occupational Therapist Angeline Volpatti explained PARO’s abilities and the comfort it provides to our patients.

9. Learning About Star Therapy

Many enjoyed learning about our Star Therapy treatment available to all of our patients. Studies on this unique therapy tool have shown a number of positive results, leaving patients more comfortable and at peace.

8. A ‘Beary’ Sweet Treat

You loved reading about kids in our Camp Pathways program giving Volunteer Judy Cole a bear to call her own. Judy has been a Volunteer with us for many years and creating Memory Bears for families is a passion of hers. Read more about this story here.

7. Patient Robert Enjoys a Fishing Trip

We love sharing real stories about our patients enjoying every moment of life. Patient Robert Leming’s fishing story is a wonderful reminder that each day we all can find ways to #CelebrateLife!

6. Helping a Mother Say “Thanks”

Mother of hospice patient Antwan Hurston wanted to find the deputies that saved her son’s life and thank them in a special way. Our Social Worker Joshua Meeker went above and beyond to help fulfill this mother’s wish. This story warmed many hearts on social media. Read the story here.

5. Honoring Our Doctors

We gave a special recognition to our doctors on National Doctor’s Day that many of you loved! We want our community to see the faces of these special physicians and learn more about them.

4. Dr. Cleanne Cass BBB Top Women to Watch

You shared in our joy in celebrating Dr. Cleanne Cass as the Better Business Bureau/Women in Business Networking 2016 Top Women to Watch. We are honored to have Dr. Cass as part of our team and are so grateful for her leadership.

3. Celebrating Our Volunteers

You helped us share the wonderful work of our Volunteers! We hold a banquet annually to celebrate our caring Volunteers.

2. Celebrating Our Staff

Our incredible staff deliver our superior services and care. You helped us honor staff who completed service milestones at our not-for-profit hospice!

1. Designated as One of the BEST Places For Nurses

And finally, one of our greatest achievements of the year – we are the FIRST hospice in the nation to be Pathway of Excellence® designated! The American Nursing Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Pathway to Excellence® program honors organizations that create positive work environments where nurses can thrive. Over 16k viewers took a moment to watch our video on the exciting news!

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Ways to Celebrate the Life of a Loved One this Holiday Season

Remembering loved ones through photographs.The holiday season can be challenging to those who are grieving the loss of someone close.   Holiday rituals and traditions are important symbols of security and family bonds. Because of this, holidays can be both a reminder of the loss of a loved one, as well as a reminder of special, pleasant memories shared with that person.

For those who are grieving, painful feelings during the holidays are normal. Rather than place unrealistic expectations on themselves to do things the way they always have, grievers should lower expectations for themselves. While it may feel insincere if you try to force feelings of happiness and joy, do allow yourself to have fun. Loss teaches us more than anything about the preciousness of life and not to take it for granted.

We can also allow the holidays to be opportunities for memory, legacy, honor, connection, and healing. Expressing feelings and revisiting memories can be part of the healing process. Some suggestions for honoring lost loved ones might include:

  • Draw pictures or make cards of favorite holiday memories with the deceased.
  • Create a special ornament to hang on the tree or doorway.
  • Write a holiday letter to the deceased and place it in a special place either wrapped as a present under the tree or tied with a bow and placed next to their picture.
  • Place a picture of the deceased at the dinner table with a candle so they are part of the holiday feast.
  • Cook a favorite dish or dessert the deceased especially enjoyed.
  • Honor your loved one by making a toast, creating a memory area in your home, or hanging a holiday stocking filled with notes of special memories.
  • Look at photo albums and share memories.
  • Donate to a special charity in your loved one’s name.
  • Create a “gratitude bowl.” Family members can write holiday memories for which they will always be thankful about their loved one on colorful slips of paper. Share them out loud during a special time during the holidays.

These activities are powerful and healing because they allow mourning while at the same time giving permission to enjoy the holidays.

If you or someone you know seeks grief counseling from our professionals, please contact our bereavement center Pathways of Hope at 937.258.4991.

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Bouquet of Recognition Honors Staff Members for Service to Mission

Our Bouquet of Recognition Award honorees personify the qualities of the Mission and Vision of Ohio’s Hospice and serve as the foundation upon which a remarkable patient experience is built. These staff members consistently demonstrate excellence through their expertise and extraordinarily compassionate support for patients and families. They are recognized as outstanding role models in our hospice community.

Our Awards are modeled after the International DAISY Award, which honors nurses. These awards recognize and celebrate the extraordinary skills and compassionate care given by members of our staff.

As a deserving recipient of the Bouquet of Recognition Award. The nominee’s skill and especially his/her compassionate care exemplify the kind of support that our patients, their families, and our staff recognize as an outstanding role model.

Faith Richardson, Sunflower Award 

A patient nominated Personal Care Specialist Faith Richardson for the Sunflower Award, noting that “Faith is always considerate…consistently is very open and direct and generous. She treats me with respect and kindness and I can tell she appreciates being able to assist me.” We join the patient in expressing gratitude for Faith, who reflects the values of our hospice mission. Thank you for your excellent service!

 

 

 

 

 

Nancy Trimble, Daisy Award

Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton Clinical Liaison Nancy Trimble was presented with the Daisy Award and cited as an “example of what true service and hospice care means.” Nancy arrived to complete an assessment at an Assisted Living facility on a recent Friday afternoon only to discover a patient actively dying and alone. Nancy knew the patient would require crisis care and she stayed at the patient’s side until the arrival of the Admission nurse and assurance that care for the patient would be continued. Nancy “exhibited true reassurance, care, compassion and respect to this patient at the end of her life,” noted her Daisy nomination. Thank you Nancy for your commitment to superior care and superior service!

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Three Ways to Support Our Mission on #GivingTuesday

 

 

 

Support our mission for #GivingTuesday in more ways than one! Here’s 3 ways you can help:

 

Donating online

1.) Donate Online

Through community support, we are able to provide not-for-profit care regardless of our patients’ financial situations.
With a few simple clicks, you can help. Click here.

 

Heirlooms Holiday Room

2.) Shop/Visit/Donate to Heirlooms Shoppes™

The Heirlooms Shoppes™ of Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton provide gently used items at reasonable prices.  All proceeds benefit patient care and services. Shop our stores or visit our locations to drop off your items. Find our locations here.

 

Volunteer gardens on Ohio's Hospice of Dayton campus.

3.) Volunteer

As a Volunteer, you can visit patients to provide comfort, make crafts for patients and families, and much more! Support our community-based not-for-profit hospice as a volunteer here.

We are so #grateful for your kindness and generosity. Thank you for supporting your community-based not-for-profit hospice.

 

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