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Pathways of Hope Pathways Breakaway for Children

img_1666Pathways of Hope at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton is offering a one-day grief support event designed to help youngsters and teens ages 7 to 17 who have experienced the loss of a parent, sibling or significant loved one. Pathways Breakaway is free of charge and participation is limited to 50. Advance registration is required.

Pathways Breakaway is a day filled with support and fun for grieving teens and children. The day-long program includes grief activities involving discussion, art and music, as well as activities such as swimming and ice skating. Pathways Breakaway is slated for Monday, January 16 (Martin Luther King Day) from 8 am to 5:30 pm at the Kettering Recreation Complex, 2900 Glengarry Drive in Kettering. Lunch and snacks are provided

For advance registration visit  www.hospiceofdayton.org/breakaway or contact Pathways of Hope at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, 937-258-4991.

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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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Hope for the Holidays Helps Those Who Have Lost a Loved One

laternThe holiday season is a time of great emotion. For those who are experiencing their first holiday after the loss of a loved one, emotions can be overwhelming. Pathways of Hope at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton and Ohio’s Hospice of Butler & Warren Counties offers a grief support program for families experiencing grief during the holidays..

“Hope for the Holidays” is open to any member of the community who has lost a loved one. The program will be held on Thursday, December 1 and Monday, December 5 , 2016 from 7 to 8 pm in the Community Room at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, 324 Wilmington Avenue, Dayton, OH. Another session is slated for Monday, November 28 from 7 to 8 pm at Ohio’s Hospice of Butler & Warren Counties Team and Staff Center, 5940 Long Meadow Drive, Franklin. Participants can choose the program is most convenient for them to attend.

A presentation by the bereavement counseling staff will celebrate and honor lost loved ones and offer insight into ways to cope with grief during the emotionally charged holiday season. Light refreshments will be served and participants will receive a keepsake ornament. The program is free of charge thanks to the generosity of the community.

Due to limited seating, reservations are required with a deadline of November 21, 2016 or until capacity is reached, whichever comes first. To make reservations call (937) 258-4991. When making your reservation, please indicate the date and location of the program you plan to attend, the number attending as well as the name of the loved one you would like to honor.

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eMagazine for Nurses Highlights Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton

advance-publicationOhio’s Hospice of Dayton is highlighted for being the first hospice in the nation to earn Pathway to Excellence designation in the new issue of the e-magazine ADVANCE for Nurses.

Mary E. Murphy RN, ACHPN, AOCN, chief nursing and care officer, praises the staff members whose care made this achievement a reality. “The nursing staff at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton is passionate about their work,” says Murphy. “They excel in their knowledge of end-of-life care and show the deepest respect, compassion and care for our patients and families.”

Read the entire article 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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Honoring and Celebrating our Veterans

20151111HospiceVeteransDay-K9928We are privileged to serve and honor Veterans everyday. Our American Pride program tailors care to address the unique needs of Veterans and make sure they receive every benefit to which they are entitled. We invite you to visit our Veteran Memorial to celebrate this Veterans Day and invite you to submit the name of a veteran to include on the kiosk that honors their service included at the Memorial. We are grateful today and everyday for the freedoms we enjoy thanks to the sacrifice of our Veterans.

 

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An Unsung Hero’s Story

joshua-meeker product_thumbnailJoshua Meeker has had some surprises in his life.

When he enlisted in the peacetime Army in 2000 at age 17, he was surprised to find himself deployed four years later to a warzone. Josh had completed his Army duty, but as a member of the Individual Ready Reserve, he was involuntarily recalled for deployment in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Ironically, he boarded a plane to report to Fort Leonardwood for duty on September 11, 2004. By December 31 he was at Camp Aiifjan, Kuwait, and soon after found himself driving truck convoys into Iraq.

Joshua began a journal documenting his experiences and reflecting his personal feelings, thoughts and attitudes.

“…this is not a fake memoir, nor is it a telling story of the war in Iraq. It is my experience of being called into the Army after basically being out for 4 years…This is what I went through. This is my IRR experience.”

The journals reflect the confusion and frustration that often accompanies a soldier in the field:

“Did I ever give the definition of incompetence? Look it up in the dictionary and you  will see a picture of Camp Buerhing. We got to the gate at Buerhing to leave and the        guard tells us the post is shut down. No one can leave. Why? Because someone on    post lost their weapon. I told the guard, “Why don’t you guys just search the vehicles and if they are clean let them leave?” he said he didn’t have orders to do that so we  sat, and sat, and waited, and waited. Sgt. Lewis, the convoy commander of this two   truck mission, called the company commander and asked them if they could make a call to get us back because we had a 3 hour drive ahead of us. So they made some   calls. They called us back and said the battalion commander was in bed with orders not to be disturbed. So we waited right there at the gate for four hours. Until the guards came out and said they were not going to search the vehicles…It turns out    they were looking for an M-4 weapon, but everyone in our company carries the M- 16. We were on our way.”

Like so many soldiers before him, Joshua experienced the sense of family familiar to brothers in arms.

            “Soldiers develop a bond that few people know. There is something in common with each and every one of us that people on the outside will never fully understand. We    are here getting ready to put our lives on the line. Leaving our friends and family,    sacrificing everything. Why? Some people will say for their country, for the United States of America. I guess that’s part of it, but the real reason is just each other. I’m still here fighting because of guys like Lewis and Leonard….that’s what gets us through…each other.”

But Joshua also recognizes that there is no escaping the realities of the world and the cultural differences that divide

“Even though this is the army and we’re all supposed to be the same color – green – we still come from different backgrounds. We still have different views on people, race, ethnicity, religion, etc. While it is good the army has ethics classes and equal opportunity officers in place to help with these factors, that doesn’t mean that       prejudice isn’t there. We may be fighting a war with terrorists abroad, but we will always be at war with ourselves and our notions of who other people are. One day we may finally realize there is only one race…the human race. Again I refer to       something my idol John Kennedy once said, “…in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children’s futures and we are all mortal.” In today’s army, and more importantly the world, we must learn to respect and accept each others’ differences as well as the similarities. Its easier said than done, but the best things in life take time.”

His account also highlights the dramatic differences between the experience of soldiers on today’s battlefields from those of previous wars.

“While resting here at Cedar for the night I also did something unusual. I bought a car. Yep, while in Iraq, I bought a care off Ebay. I’ll have my parents pick it up for me and it will be there waiting for me when I get home.”

The days of boredom interspersed with lack of sleep, too many missions and narrowly escaped injury from mortar attacks are all detailed, along with the joys of homecoming

“Today it rained, right as we pulled back into Camp Arifjan. I haven’t seen rain here since February. It’s a tell tale sign it’s time for us to go home. ..it’s been a long time coming and it’s finally coming to an end.”

Since returning to stateside and civilian life again, Joshua has channeled his idealism and his heart into helping hospice patients and families at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. As a social worker with the interdisciplinary hospice team, Joshua helps grateful patients and families through transitions of their own.

Joshua’s wife compiled his journal writings for publication and surprised him with the book as a Christmas gift in 2014. For those interested in reading more of his memoir, Unsung Heroes is available online. 

 

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Get to Know our Interdisciplinary Care Team!

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Hospice care is a holistic approach to end-of-life care that addresses the physical, social and spiritual needs of patients. Our interdisciplinary team is committed to providing the highest possible quality of life for patients. Our hospice team includes the talents and expertise of many to achieve that goal. The team includes:

Physicians: Our doctors are certified specialists in hospice and palliative care. Their expertise is in managing symptoms and developing personalized solutions for patients. They work directly with the primary care physician to address the needs of patients and provide support to families.

Nurse Care Managers: Our nursing staff monitor and address the changing needs of patients and provide education to patients and families. They focus on symptom control and improving quality of life by coordinating a wide range of support to benefit patients and families.

Personal Care Specialists: Our expert team of Personal Care Specialists provides assistance with bathing, dressing, meal preparation, eating, light housekeeping and more.  They are essential to the quality of life our patients enjoy.

Chaplains: Our chaplains deliver spiritual support for patients from a starting point of respect for the personal beliefs of each individual. Our chaplains honor and encourage their faith, joining with personal clergy to reinforce spiritual foundations and religious traditions.

Social Workers: Social workers play a central role in holistic hospice care serving as advocates for patient and family and connecting them with community resources important for quality of life. Social workers help with the emotional impact of grief and bereavement as well as practical concerns such as insurance and veteran’s benefits.

Pharmacists: Our pharmacists monitor patient medications to assure safety and tailor medications to meet individual patient needs. When cost might compromise patient quality of life, our pharmacists work with drug manufacturers to provide medications through patient assistance programs.

Therapists: Our therapy teams bring an additional level of comfort, care and quality of life to patients. Respiratory, occupational and massage therapists assure comfort and care, while music, art and pet therapies contribute to quality of life. Aromatherapy, light and Reiki therapies are additional levels of comfort available to our hospice patients.

Volunteers: Our volunteers receive special training to support patients and provide patient companionship, caregiver relief, errand running and a multitude of other services to enhance patient and family care.

To learn more about how we can assist you or your loved one, please give us a call at 888.449.4121 or visit or contact us page. 

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Gina Shares Her Kindness with Others

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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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