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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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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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Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton Joins In Honoring Veterans

comm-care-vet-pinHospice of Dayton, Hospice of Miami County and Community Care Hospice – all affiliates of Ohio’s Hospice – joined together to honor Clinton County Veterans participating in a recent Honor Flight visit to Washington D.C. Almost 80 Veterans and their guardians took part in the Honor Flight experience, which included a tribute and send off at the Clinton County Courthouse.

The flight was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Wilmington, which raised money to send the Veterans and their guardians on the Honor Flight trip to see war memorials in the nation’s capitol. The community-based hospice organizations recognized participating Veterans with an American Pride pinning ceremony prior to their departure, making sure that each Veteran received an American Pride pin and was thanked for his/her service. The effort was a community extension of the American Pride program of each of the hospices. American Pride assures that Veterans in hospice care receive benefits and support that acknowledge their services and sacrifice. By recognizing the unique needs of our nation’s Veterans who are facing a life-limiting illnesses, these local not-for-profit hospice providers are able to accompany and guide Veterans and their families towards a more peaceful ending.

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Pharmacists Provide Superior Care & Services

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The hospice pharmacist is a full member of the hospice interdisciplinary team. High-quality hospice and palliative care includes pharmacists who:

  • Evaluate medication orders and ensure timely delivery of effective medications for patients.
  • Counsel and educate team members about medication therapy. Pharmacists advise members of the hospice team about the potential for drug interactions, drug dangers, and alternative and complementary therapies.
  • Provide medication-compounding to make it easier for patients to benefit from medications. They can also eliminate or adjust ingredients that patients cannot tolerate.
  • Resolve financial concerns. Hospice benefits usually cover medications, but if patients lack insurance coverage or benefits, pharmacists will work with drug manufacturers to provide medications through patient assistance programs.
  • Ensure safe and legal disposal of all medications. Medications remaining in patients’ homes fall under a variety of hazard categories. Pharmacists help families with the removal of the medications from the home in accordance with federal and state drug control and environmental protection laws and regulations.
  • Establish and maintain compliance with regulatory and licensing agencies to assure safe use and disposal of controlled substances.
  • Pharmacists routinely review patient records and provide recommendations for drug therapies, and assure documentation in keeping with federal and state laws and regulations.

Pharmacists are vital to the hospice team and regularly attend interdisciplinary team meetings to review patient records and determine changes needed to maintain the best possible quality of life for patients in hospice care.

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The Rich History of Hospice and Palliative Care

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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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8 Tips for Keeping Connected to Those with Dementia

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Loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s benefit from interaction with others. Sometimes we may not know how to best communicate with those experiencing memory problems, which occurs with every form of dementia. Here are some tips for interacting with people with dementia:

  • Conversation with people with dementia will vary dependent on where they are; early stage versus late stage. A key issue with dementia is loss of the ability to plan, reason, and execute a plan. Thus if you ask a yes or no question and it requires reasoning, often the answer will be no, not because they are saying no, but because they cannot decide.
  • Keep conversations simple and stay away from questions except as it pertains to real time: Are you hungry, thirsty, or in pain? Keep each question as a single subject and then wait for an answer. Do not change the question, but if not answered, ask exactly the same question again.
  • Stay away from “do you remember?” In dementia, early on, people do know their memories are worsening, so asking this may increase their frustration.   When looking at pictures, ask what the person thinks is happening in the picture rather than asking them to try to identify the person. This taps into imagination and decreases the stress of trying to remember.
  • Try to keep the environment calm and free of lots of stimulation. When wanting to communicate, turn off the TV and help the person focus to the conversation. Over stimulated persons with dementia may become agitated, aggressive or withdraw.
  • As dementia worsens, the person’s world will get smaller. They often end up in a single room due to inability to cope with the wider environment. This tells you that more stimulation is not what is needed, but that there is an increase in fear due to unrecognized surroundings.
  • Do not yell, shame, or corner a person with dementia. They are adults and often that is known to them. Also, do not use reality orientation. If you ask them how old they are, they may give you a clue as to what period of time they think they are in. It is easier to go to their reality than to drag them into our reality.
  • If they have forgotten who you are, be who they think you are, or introduce yourself at every visit and who you are. If they have forgotten you, do not take it personally. They just cannot remember.
  • Engage the senses as dementia frequently affects left brain function first. Sensory experiences are in the right brain. Aromatherapy, massage, music, quiet environments, lower lights help.

About the Author:

Nancy Sterling Trimble, PhD, RN, CNP is a geriatric Adult Nurse 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.

nancytrimble

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7 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Hospice

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Someday you or someone you love is likely to need hospice care. Before you arrive at that day as a crisis, it’s a good idea to consider what is important in choosing who will provide your hospice care. You do have choices, and your choice is a critical factor in what services you receive. It affects not only services provided to the patient, but to those left behind. Below are important questions to ask when deciding who will provide your hospice care:

1. How long has the hospice been in operation?

According to a major consumer publication, hospices with over 20 years of service demonstrate stability and reliability of service.

2. Is the hospice Medicare-certified?

If the patient is a Medicare beneficiary and wants to use the hospice benefit, Medicare certification is required to enable costs to be covered.

3. Is the hospice accredited and state-licensed?

Hospices with Accreditation (JCAHO or CHAP) have been reviewed by an impartial organization and accreditation indicates they are recommended as having good standards of care.

4. Is the hospice a not-for-profit?

Not-for profit hospices offer patient services and support that are not required by Medicare, but are highly valuable to patient care and comfort. Because not-for-profit hospices are first committed to the hospice mission, not to shareholder profit, not-for-profit providers typically spend substantially more on patient care.  Not-for-profit hospices are more likely to permit patients to continue with radiation and/or chemotherapy for cancer. If a patient wants to continue to receive these therapies to reduce the size of a tumor and reduce pain, it’s important to know whether the hospice permits such therapies.

Not-for-profit hospices also are more likely to provide an array of comfort therapies such as massage, music, art, pet assisted therapies and other non-pharmaceutical interventions that can significantly improve patient quality of life. These alternative, holistic treatments are important as you consider how well  a hospice will meet patient needs.

5. Is inpatient hospice care available?

Patients receiving care in their own home may develop complicated symptoms and need to have inpatient care to control symptoms or pain. Caring for someone with a serious illness can be exhausting for caregivers, who sometimes fall ill themselves. Some hospices offer “respite” care, enabling the patient to be cared for in an inpatient environment to allow the caregiver a break of up to 5 days. Not every hospice can meet the need for inpatient care. It’s an important option for the comfort of the patient and the caregiver.

6. Are the doctors and nurses certified in palliative care?

Specialized study in palliative and hospice care is a demonstration of expertise in addressing the needs of hospice patients.

7. Does the hospice offer grief support services?

Grief support services are available at no cost from some hospices, and continue for up to a year following the loss of a loved one. An array of services tailored to address the needs of various family members is a good indication of strong bereavement support for family members left behind.

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How Hospice Helps Caregivers

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Hospice care is a philosophy that embraces family members, providing care for them along with hospice patients. We recognize that a life-limiting illness impacts everyone in the family circle. That’s why support for family caregivers is a major focus of our care and services.

We provide caregiver education and resources to help caregivers who are attending to patients in the home.

  • A nurse is available by phone 24/7 to answer questions.
  • Our extended hours staff is available to assist when needed.
  • Our trained volunteers support caregivers with errands, household chores and more. Volunteers are friendly visitors who listen and provide emotional support. They can also sit with a patient to give caregivers a short break from their duties.
  • Our Personal Care Specialists help with patient care, including feeding, bathing and personal grooming.
  • Our social workers help with emotional support for caregivers, and identify community resources that can help meet family needs.
  • Our chaplains support family members and patients, respecting individual faith traditions and keeping the family connected with their faith community.
  • Grief support is provided during patient care and in the months following the loss of a loved one.
  • Our Hospice House can provide more extended respite care for patients when caregivers need time to refresh or to attend to their own healthcare needs.

Our hospice team is attentive to the toll of caregiving and helps to make sure caregivers practice self-care. We can help develop strategies to assure caregivers:

  • Maintain a sense of wellbeing
  • Are getting the rest they need
  • Are addressing their own health concerns
  • Are getting a break when they need one

Most importantly, hospice care can help caregivers spend more quality time with their loved one by sharing and easing the load of responsibilities and demands caregivers face. Hospice care assures that caregivers are not alone in their commitment to love and care for a seriously ill family member.

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Mother’s Day Tea Offers Grief Support

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This Mother’s Day, the grief support program of Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton is offering special support to those who have lost their mothers.

Pathways of Hope at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton invites members of the public who have lost their mother to attend a Mother’s Day Tea on Wednesday, May 4 to honor memories of mom. The program will be held from 12 noon to 2 pm in the Community Room at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. According to Bereavement Counselor Debbie Holt, MS, PCC-S, “The Mother’s Day Tea is designed as an event to remember and honor moms who have been lost in the last year.

For many, Mother’s Day can be a painful holiday for those who have lost mothers, even for those who have been handling their grief well. While a single event can’t heal the pain, the Tea will provide opportunities to share with others who are experiencing the same loss and will provide helpful information on how to cope with the grief the holiday brings.
Honoring will come through the sharing of memories and what mom meant to each individual. It won’t be necessary to speak the memories if the attendee chooses not to, but setting aside time to reflect on those memories can be very helpful amidst the busyness of day to day life.”

Holt predicts there will not only be tears, but laughter at the Mother’s Day Tea. Attendees will be invited to take home their teacup as a remembrance of mom and the event. Advance reservations are required. Those interested in attending can contact Pathways of Hope at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton at 937-258-4991.

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Celebrating Our Solar Successes On Earth Day


Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton is celebrating Earth Day everyday with financial savings and a reduced carbon footprint thanks to solar power.

As part of Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton’s Renewable Energy Program, Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton will participate in the 2016 Green Energy Ohio (GEO) Solar Tour June 3-5. Facilities Coordinator Mark Wagner will host visitors to share information about the impact 96 solar electric panels have had on power usage. The amount of energy produced since May of 2015 has offset 36,000 pounds of carbon emissions and is the equivalent of powering two average homes. The amount of carbon and greenhouse gas emissions offset can be represented by having planted 922 trees, 17,509 pounds of coal burned, 38 barrels of oil consumed, six tons of waste sent to a landfill, and removing three cars from the road over the past nine months.

EarthDayHOD

Like GEO, Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton is promoting sustainable energy practices. Future plans like roof-mounted solar arrays and a solar car canopy will further reduce Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton’s electricity consumption by more than 10 percent. As opportunities arise to implement additional sources of renewable energy, Mark will be reviewing all options. “It’s a great idea to implement a renewable energy source, such as geothermal, wind or solar at the earliest stages of a new building or a facility’s refurbishment,” he says. By adding renewables into the mix from the start, companies can save on installation costs and have a better impact on the environment.

Please join Mark at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton and be a part of the Solar Tour in June. For more information, contact Mark at mwagner@hospiceofdayton.org.

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