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#SuperiorCare Wherever You Call Home

Hospice is not a place, but a type of care. We provide comprehensive care wherever you call home. Services are provided at:

Hospice Houses

Hospice of Dayton – Hospice House

Hospice of Dayton can provide personalized short-term symptom management and medical support in our Hospice House, located at 324 Wilmington Avenue in Dayton. The Hospice House provides superior around-the-clock medical attention to assure patient comfort. Visitors are welcome 24 hours a day, every day of the week. Once stabilized, patients can return to their home setting for continued hospice support.

Hospice of Butler & Warren Counties – Lorelei’s Place

Hospice of Butler & Warren Counties can provide personalized short-term symptom management and medical support in the 14-bed Lorelei’s Place Hospice House, located at 5920 Long Meadow Drive, in Franklin, Ohio. Lorelei’s Place also provides superior around-the-clock medical attention to maintain patient comfort. Once stabilized, patients can return to their home setting for continued hospice support

Home Care

We partner with family members and the family physician to assure the highest quality of care can be provided in your home. We support family members and caregivers with a professional care team including physicians, nurses, Advanced Practice nurse specialists, respiratory and other therapists, home health aides, social workers, pharmacists, grief counselors, chaplains and volunteers. Each of our Home Care staff members is patient-focused and driven to lead with a servant’s heart.

Hospital Care

It’s our commitment, as a community-based, patient-focused organization, to work closely with area hospitals in order to ensure superior comfort for patients. We work energetically with members of the hospital staff focusing on palliative treatments while honoring choices for patients and caregivers – allowing them to celebrate life with the help of hospice care.

Nursing Home/Assisted Living Care

We also partner with extended care and assisted living facilities to assure that superior hospice care is available in each patient setting – personalized to meet individual needs and guarantee peace of mind.

In addition to providing specialized care for the control of pain and symptoms, we also provide aides to assist with extra personal care, social workers to help with needed resources, chaplains to address spiritual needs, and volunteers to provide companionship. Our clinical staff does not replace the nursing care currently being provided by the facility, but our expertise in personalized care given at the end of life’s journey can provide patients with another level of comfort.

Learn More About Our Services

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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.

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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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Hospice Nursing Honor Guard Pays Tribute to Nurses

“The concept of honoring nurses who have given themselves to the care of others, was the initial appeal for me. It became more than a concept from the first time I stepped into a patient’s home, surrounded and embraced by her family, friends and fellow nurses. This nurse, who was dying at home, cared for by her parents, was younger than I. Her 15-year old daughter was at her bedside as we tried to thank her for her years of service to others. I have been a hospice nurse for more than 20 years. I have been privileged to share in many life closures, but in this situation, I struggled with my own tears.”

That is how Susan Boesch, RN, OCN, CHPN, with Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton describes her experience with the Nursing Honor Guard program, which was created to celebrate and honor those who have dedicated their professional lives to nursing. With growing demand for these ceremonies, Ohio’s Hospice needs more staff volunteers to assist in honoring nursing professionals at the end-of-life.

The Nursing Honor Guard is comprised of Ohio’s Hospice volunteer nurses who conduct a ceremony at the patient bedside. Upon request, the Nursing Honor Guard conducts a ceremony to celebrate the service and honor nurses who have life-limiting illnesses and have become patients in the care of Ohio’s Hospice. Dressed in traditional and historical uniforms, the Honor Guard recognizes the nurse for her commitment to caring and providing compassion to patients. Career highlights and individual achievements are highlighted as part of the ceremony, in which the honoree is presented with a pin and certificate of appreciation.

According to Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton Team Leader Jena Langford, RN, BSN, CHPN, CCM, “This program grew from a Bright Idea submitted by Christy Dempsey RN. Christy attended a graveside nursing honor guard tribute and was touched by the respect and appreciation given to the nurse that had passed. Christy wanted Hospice to honor our patients who are nurses.” Jena and Bessie Marshall adapted a program for Ohio’s Hospice that focuses on bedside tributes while patients are still alive.  Langford explains, “We interview the family and/or patient and create an individualized script tailored to each patient/nurse.  It is an honor to write these tributes and to be involved in presenting them”

Boesch says she has a new sense of appreciation for the role of nursing as a result of participating in Honor Guard Ceremonies. “I have seen, first hand, just how much a career in nursing means to the whole family. How proud they are of her/his achievements and service to others.”

Dressed in traditional and historical uniforms, the Honor Guard recognizes the nurse for her commitment to caring and providing compassion to patients.

Her sentiments are echoed by Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton Care Team Coordinator Linda Cummins, RN, BSN, CHPN, who opted for a career in nursing after completing military service. “I recall that feeling I had when I put on my nursing cap and was given a Nightingale lantern at my nursing school graduation.  I felt a sense of pride and community — very similar to the camaraderie of the military.  I recall the deep sense of honor and responsibility I felt as we all recited the Nightingale Pledge together at the conclusion of our graduation ceremony.  I have seen that sense of pride on the nurses we have honored with the Nursing Honor Guard.  There is a sense of purpose, honor, and responsibility – responsibility for something much bigger than one person, one nurse or one patient.  There are very few things in the civilian world that echoes military honor and commitment, but nursing is very much like that. The Nursing Honor Guard has given me that gift, that sense of awesome responsibility we have in caring for others.”

Cummins says the ceremony means much more to her than simply recognizing a fellow nurse. “We are acknowledging the role of nursing in our culture and how important and respected it is.  We are thanking these nurses and their families for the sacrifices of late nights, shift work, on-call duties, and informal nursing duties for family, friends and community.  We are acknowledging a lifetime of service.  We are acknowledging the higher calling of the life in the service of nursing.”

Langford cites Cummins and others whose participation has been a key to the success of the Nursing Honor Guard effort. “I would like to give a special thank you to the core group of staff who enable me to keep this program running smoothly – Linda Cummins, Terri Knopp, and Christy Dempsey. And a great thank you to all the staff volunteers taking time out of their day to complete these tributes!”

Ohio’s Hospice team members interested in volunteering to serve with the Nursing Honor Guard are invited to contact Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton Coming Home Team Leader Jena Langford, RN, BSN, CHPN, CCM at jlangford@hospiceofdayton.org or Admission Care Liaison with Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County Christy Dempsey, RN, BSN, CHPN, at cdempsey@hospiceofmiamicounty.org.

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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 could benefit from grief counseling from our professionals, please contact our bereavement center Pathways of Hope at 937.258.4991.

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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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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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Chaplains Lift Spirits of Patients & Families

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Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton Chaplain Team

Chaplains are an important part of the Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton interdisciplinary team. Their spiritual support for patients starts with respecting the personal beliefs of each individual.

Hospice chaplains give the gift of listening to each patient and encouraging them to speak about the people, moments, values, work and relationships that have given them meaning and purpose.

For some, a religious or faith tradition is an important aspect of their life, giving them meaning and purpose. Their faith can strengthen and  comfort them. Our chaplains honor and encourage their faith, joining with personal clergy to reinforce this spiritual foundation that anchors them.

For others, religion traditions may not have held a central role in their  expression of faith, but they may still have a strong sense of spirituality.  Hospice chaplains can help patients reflect upon their beliefs, and express their spirituality.

Chaplains also support those who define themselves as agnostic or atheist, meeting them where they are with no judgment or agenda

The hospice chaplain helps each patient be open to the spiritual experience as they prepare to let go of the life they have known and loved.

Our team of chaplains include:

Rhonda Alderman

Jeffrey Brown

Tom Myer

David Parker

Ralph Vencill

Steve Wetterhan

Janie Brewer

John Eshelman

Karen Fox

Sharon Kunselman

Doris McCollum

Joshua Klurwich-Krutt

Ronnie Releford

Rebecca Scherrer

Tom Schwind

 

 

 

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