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Finding New Purpose and Meaning As a Volunteer

Anita Krull is crocheting her fourteenth afghan for a hospice patient. Her goal is to create 25 afghans.

Anita tries to crochet every day for an hour or so. It takes about 30 hours, she says, to complete one afghan. Anita began her afghan project after her husband was the beneficiary of an afghan when he was a hospice patient. “He received an afghan that someone had made and it was so meaningful to us,” Anita explains. “It meant so much to the entire family. We all took turns sleeping with it after he passed. I determined this is what I could do – crochet afghans to comfort families.” That began Anita’s volunteer service to Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. “It’s given my life purpose,” Anita says. “I was at such a loss when I lost my husband.”

But Anita didn’t stop with crocheting.

Next, she volunteered to share music with patients and families every week.

On Thursdays she spends two hours playing her autoharp or guitar for hospice patients and families. “I try to play requests,” Anita laughs. “Sometimes I know them, sometimes I don’t.” Either way, she finds her music enables her to quickly bond with the patients and families she meets. “I’ve met lots of nice people,” Anita says. “I love the feeling of making a connection before they pass.”

Usually, she donates her afghans and never meets the recipient. But twice she spotted one of her afghans on the bed when she visited patients to play music. “It was humbling to know who received it,” Anita confesses. “I hope my afghans can touch and comfort another family the way the one we received did.”

In November, it will be wo years since her husband died following three years of serious illness and multiplying infections. He was 65. Anita is now 67 and retired, and finds her volunteer work for hospice has given her purpose and meaning. “As much as I am a blessing to patients and families, they are a blessing to me,” Anita observes. “I crochet every day, eagerly and with purpose.” Anita says once she reaches her goal of 25 afghans, she will then have a decision to make.

“Who knows – maybe I’ll decide to create 25 more.”

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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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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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Volunteers Shape Our Gardens at Hospice House

Every connection we make with our patients, families, and community is meaningful to us. We are always grateful when we learn that our organization holds special meaning to members of the community. That’s why we are so moved when Mark Bisceglia says his connection with Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton is what brought his Dayton Nielsen team of volunteers to our campus.

Mark Bisceglia, pictured, led the Dayton Nielsen team to Volunteer at the Ohio's Hospice of Dayton gardens.

Mark Bisceglia, pictured, led the Dayton Nielsen team to volunteer at the Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton gardens.

“Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton has had a very personal and profound impact on my life and the lives of my family,” Bisceglia said. “My father was a patient here almost 21 years ago and my mother-in-law was a patient recently around Easter. I’ve also had grandparents that utilized Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton’s services.”

Nielsen Volunteers uproot a bush at Ohio's Hospice of Dayton.

Nielsen Volunteers uproot a bush at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton.

When Bisceglia was placed in charge of this year’s Nielsen Global Impact Day for his Dayton team, Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton was the first organization he thought of.

“The campus and its staff have been there repeatedly during my time of need and this was an opportunity to give back to an organization that has provided so much for my family,” Bisceglia said.

Nielsen allows its over 40,000 team members to dedicate up to 24 hours of time per year to not-for-profit organizations. Once a year, Nielsen conducts its Nielsen Global Impact Day, a day the entire company, in the U.S. and throughout the world, volunteer at not-for-profit organizations.

Nielsen Volunteer adds these vibrant flowers to our Hospice House gardens.

Nielsen Volunteer adds these vibrant flowers to our Hospice House gardens.

This year, 12 Nielsen Volunteers gave over 40 hours of Volunteer time to Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton on that day alone. During that time, Bisceglia and his team focused on beautification of the Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton campus, by planting flowers, replacing flower beds, and planting grass seed.

Volunteer plants plant at Ohio's Hospice of Dayton Hospice House

“I would strongly encourage anyone with a heart of giving back to consider Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton,” Bisceglia said. “The services they provide and the incredible compassion of each and every staff member, in my opinion, makes this an ideal organization of which to serve.”

We thank the Nielsen team for supporting our mission of providing superior care and superior services to each patient and family – we can’t do what we do without our compassionate Volunteers.Nielsen Volunteers at Ohio's Hospice of Dayton Hospice House

Volunteers can support our mission in many ways. See how you or your workplace can make a difference in the lives of our patients and families by visiting this link.

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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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Help Our Mission – Become a Volunteer in 2017!

Volunteer helps with office tasks.

Help us enhance the quality of life of patients and families – #volunteer with us! The first volunteer orientation of the year is January 21.

At orientation, you will learn:

  • 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

Volunteer orientation dates throughout the year are:

January 21

February 13

March 1 & 25

April 12

May 10

June 7 & 17

July 12

August 19

September 18

October 11 & 14

November 8

December 6

All sessions are from 8:30 am – 2:30 pm.

If you are interested, please complete the volunteer application and learn more here.

Please call 937.256.9507, ext. 3314 for more information.

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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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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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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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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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