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Archive | February, 2017

Social Workers Contribute to Quality Care

Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton social workers pictured with social workers of Ohio’s Hospice affiliates.

March is National Social Worker Month and an important time to recognize and express appreciation for the social workers who are central to our Quality of Life Team.

Our hospice social workers help patients and families address the many practical and emotional issues that come with serious illness.

  • They help families connect with valuable community resources, including meals on wheels, in-home caregiver support and financial assistance.
  • They educate and inform family caregivers so they feel confident in caring for their loved one.
  • They help patient and family openly discuss their fears and concerns.
  • They help smooth the way when patients need to transition from one living environment to another.
  • They serve as advocates for patients, helping to identify and plan so patients can achieve their end-of-life goals.
  • They assist with completing advance directives and funeral planning.
  • They help assure that children receive the services and support they need when facing the loss of a loved one.

Social workers bring knowledge and expertise in working with ethnic, cultural, and economic diversity. They are familiar with navigating the complexities of health care systems. They understand bereavement and are focused on enhancing quality of life and well-being for patients and families.

While accomplishing all these things, social workers also provide emotional support and understanding as families face the most difficult challenge of saying goodbye.

We are grateful for the role our social workers play in providing superior care and superior services to our hospice families. Learn about other key players in our Quality of Life Team by clicking here.

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Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton Starlight Therapy Subject of National Publication and Poster Presentation

Congratulations to Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton authors Kathleen Emerson, LPN, CHPLN, Linda Quinlin, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, NP-C, ACHPN, Mary Murphy, MS,RN,CNS,AOCN, ACHPN, (pictured L to R) and Miami Valley Hospital clinician Patricia O’Malley PhD, RN, CNS, CCRN-Alumnus, whose article “Evaluation of a Low Light Intervention- Starlight Therapy –for Agitation, Anxiety, Restlessness, Sleep Disturbances, Dyspnea and Pain at End of Life” has been accepted for publication in the June issue of the Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing. The group will also be among the featured poster presenters at the February annual assembly in Phoenix, Arizona at the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Nursing Association. The Annual Assembly brings together nearly 3,000 hospice and palliative care clinicians to share research, clinical best practices, and practice-related guidance to advance the specialty and improve patient care.

Research into the impact of starlight therapy was initiated at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton over five years ago when laser star projectors were first introduced to patient care. The projection of starlight onto the ceiling and walls of patient rooms proved to be a valuable therapy in easing anxiety, pain and restlessness among patients. Research also demonstrated a reduction in the need for pharmaceutical interventions for patients with a positive response to the light therapy approach.

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Two Hearts As One

For staff members at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, it was heartbreaking.

Charles was alone in his room, tears streaming down his face. He longed to see his wife of 63 years. She longed to see him. But her fear of leaving their house kept her from his side. valentines day hospice of dayton

His wife never left their home. A native of Japan, she met Charles when he was serving at an Army hospital base in Japan. The two came together when she and a girlfriend attended a dance. Their meeting quickly turned to romance and a wedding ceremony at the embassy in Tokyo.

When Charles was discharged, the couple returned to the Dayton area where Charles was raised. He took a job with a local High School – a role he maintained until his retirement over twenty years later. They bought a house in 1959, a home kept neat as a pin by his wife. Now, after 63 years of marriage, the two were separated, and Charles lay dying.

The hospice staff was planning to honor Charles for his military service with an American Pride Veteran pinning ceremony to recognize and thank him for his military service. They wished his wife could be present, but she never left her home because she was overwhelmed by fear whenever she did so. As his condition began to decline, hospice staff members launched a full-court press to bring them together. Hospice House RN Leah Guthrie called and told his wife that time was running out for Charlie.

Hospice House coordinator Jamie Doughman enlisted a volunteer driver and the two traveled to the family home, offering door-to-door transport to hospice to see Charles. Reassuring and encouraging, the two were able to convince his wife to make the trip to see “Charlie” and be part of his recognition ceremony. Charles had become unresponsive.

The pinning ceremony was moving for everyone involved. Charles’ wife arrived in time for the event, and began speaking to her husband. “I love you my Charlie,” she said, stroking his cheek. For the first time in many hours, he struggled to open his eyes.

The romance that began a continent away continued to have the power to bring Charlie back to the love of his life to share some final precious memories.

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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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Hospice Staffers Recognized for Blood Donations

Melisha holding a Leading the Way plaque recognizing Ohio's Hospice of Dayton as a leader in blood donations.

Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton staff members are not only committed to the patients and families they serve, but are equally committed to the community they serve.

Twice a year staff members roll up their sleeves to take part in blood drives with the Community Blood Center. Blood is life essential, carrying oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body, and moving carbon dioxide and other waste products to the lungs, kidneys and liver for disposal. Blood fights infections and helps heal wounds. 4.5 million Americans receive blood each year, many as the result of life-saving surgery or injury. Through their donations, volunteer blood donors save those lives.

Community Blood Center recently recognized Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton with a Leading the Way plaque in appreciation of the donation drives, which are strategically timed. January and summer months are difficult months to get donors to participate.  When the blood supply was low in 2016, the organization was asked to add a second blood drive. Staff donors have met or exceeded the target donation goal every time.

Pictured left, Human Resources Specialist Melisha Marshall, organizer of the blood donation drives at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, holding the recent award presented by Community Blood Center.

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