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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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The Best End-of-Life Care May Not Cost a Penny

hodThanks to community support, the best end-of-life care may not cost a penny.

Not-for-profit hospices like us devote donor dollars to assure that anyone who needs end-of-life care can receive it regardless of ability to pay. In addition to superior clinical services and care, we focus on:

  • Strong support for our patients and families including complementary therapies like massage, art, and music therapy, and grief counseling
  • Resources, education and support for all of the physicians, nurses and dedicated teams that serve our patients and families each and every day
  • Doctors who specialize in end-of-life care, and therapists and clergy who are there for our patients and families

Donor dollars make a difference every day in the lives of our patients and families. Any gift to your local Ohio’s Hospice affiliate stays in the community and helps sustain our mission and secure superior care and superior services at the end-of-life for your neighbors, family and friends.

We are grateful to you for enabling us to celebrate life with patients and families. Support our patients and families by clicking here.

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Understanding Grief in Children & Teens

Teens grieve with family

When Beth was 13, her father died of pancreatic cancer.  Shortly afterward, she began to feel overwhelmed with many things such as difficulty concentrating on her school assignments, general fatigue, increased irritability and arguing with her two younger siblings and her mother.  Zach was eight when his mother died suddenly from a drug overdose.  He struggled to understand “why she had to die” as he strove to adjust to the many changes of living with his grandparents.

Children and teens often feel alone with their grief.  Many feel sorrow, sadness, anger, confusion and longing for their loved one while at the same time struggling to make necessary adjustments caused by the loss.  Sensitivity about being viewed as “different” can prevent them from feeling comfortable in expressing feelings to their friends.  Sometimes children and teens are hesitant to show their feelings to other family members because they do not want to “upset them or make them cry.” Individual grief counseling provides a safe environment where they can express their thoughts and feelings about the loss.

At the Pathways of Hope Grief Center, individual grief counseling sessions are available to children and teens and can include art therapy activities that are related to grief.  These art activities provide a fun and creative way to express thoughts and feelings about death and how they are coping.  Art can also be a creative way to make objects that help maintain cherished memories as well as honor the life of their loved one.

One of the powerful qualities of art making is that it does not rely on words to communicate difficult feelings and experiences.  This quality makes it especially healing for children and teens, many of which may not have the vocabulary to express their feelings and experiences in words or are often uncomfortable talking about their grief.  One does not need to be artistically gifted to benefit.  These art activities also provide their parent(s) or guardian an object that is like a “window to the soul,” allowing them to better understand and support their child.

If you think your child or teen would benefit from art therapy and individual grief counseling, or attending our mutigenerational art therapy group Art Forever After, please call the Pathways of Hope Grief Center at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton at 937-258-4991.

Article written by Jonathan Haag, Art Therapist at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton.

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Gina Shares Her Kindness with Others

gina_4_small

Gina poses for a portrait at our beautiful Hospice House.

Gina easily melts the worries (and not to mention, hearts) of the patients and families she meets in our care. Gina is part of our pet therapy program and regularly visits as a supportive companion for patients and families.

Gina did not come from an easy life before her owner Nick Ziza came to her rescue. Gina is a rescue dog found on the street, showing signs of abuse and neglect. As happy as a girl she is, you can tell her life is much different now.

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Gina is a well-known face with our staff.

With her gentle nature and love for people, her caring demeanor was meant to be shared with others. She is certified in pet therapy and is adored by those she encounters.

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Aria, center left, was immediately drawn to Gina.

Some facts about Gina:

  • She has served at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton for eight months
  • She is four years old
  • Loves chasing squirrels
  • Enjoys playing with her pet brother Niles

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We thank Nick and Gina for their kindness and support for patients and families at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. Learn how you can volunteer here.

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The Rich History of Hospice and Palliative Care

takeajourney

There is such a rich history to the hospice and palliative care story – We invite you to take a journey with us as we guide you through the fascinating history of hospice and palliative care.

By definition, the word hospice originally meant a lodging for travelers or hosting guests or strangers. In current usage, hospice continues to serve unique travelers – those with life-limiting illnesses.

Hospice has become a philosophy of care that addresses the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those facing the end of life.  In the mid-1800s, Mrs. Jeanne Garnier founded the Dames de Claire in France to care for the dying. The Sisters of Charity opened Our Lady’s Hospice in Dublin in 1879. But the driving force behind the modern hospice movement creating a new approach to care for the dying was a woman in Great Britain who was a registered nurse, a social worker and physician.

Cicely Saunders is recognized as the founder of the modern hospice care. Her experiences at Saint Luke’s Hospital led her to establish Saint Christopher’s in South East London, a hospice dedicated to serve dying patients, in 1967. Her work earned recognition from Her Majesty the Queen when she was named a Dame of the British Empire in 1980 and awarded the Order of Merit in 1989.

The movement to improve end-of-life care in Great Britain inspired others around the world to join in the hospice movement. Early proponents were volunteers with a vision of assuring that no one with a life-limiting condition should have to live and die in unnecessary pain and distress. A legion of international volunteers dedicated themselves to providing holistic care that focused on easing pain and improving quality of life for those with terminal illnesses.

Dame Cicely Saunders came to speak to a group of students at Yale University in the early 1970s. As a result, a nurse and volunteer in Connecticut made the first home care visit to a hospice patient. Quickly, the ideals of hospice were adopted across the country. Serving patients primarily in the home, hospice care initially served primarily those with cancer, ALS and other fatal diseases. With the onset of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, hospice providers became pioneers in caring for those with advanced AIDS.

Like those elsewhere in the country, a nurse in Dayton, Ohio who had cared for her dying mother was determined to improve end-of-life care in her community. In 1978, Betty Schmoll launched Hospice of Dayton with support from every hospital in the community.

Sources:

www.nhpco.org/history-hospice-care

www.hospiceworld.org/history.htm

www.cicelysaundersinternational.org

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