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When Families Need it Most

Dr. Gary LeRoy serves on the Board of Trustees for Hospice of Dayton. As a family practitioner, Dr. LeRoy sees the possibility of enabling a loved one to die at home instead of in a hospital as an act of love, an act of generational devotion. “When a disease diagnosis leaves no hope for cure, hospice services are designed to support quality of life and help the family through the journey of loss,” says Dr. LeRoy. “Hospice of Dayton can help families by providing in-home visits from physicians, nurses, chaplains, social workers, home health aides and volunteers to help meet the needs of patients. Medical equipment such as hospital beds, oxygen and portable toilets can be delivered to the home to help patients continue to remain comfortably at home.”

Medications and supplies for the terminal diagnosis are routinely included in hospice care and the costs are typically covered through insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. “Even patients who are not covered through such programs can receive care from Hospice of Dayton at no cost,” Dr. LeRoy stresses. “As a non-profit hospice provider and thanks to donations from the community, Hospice of Dayton provides care for any eligible patient regardless of ability to pay.

Beyond caring for the patient, hospice services are also geared to go above and beyond in an effort to care for family members. “Grief counseling for family members is also available at no cost and extends for over a year after the loss of a loved one in hospice care. The Pathways of Hope grief counseling program at Hospice of Dayton also offers grief counseling to anyone in the community who needs it, regardless of whether hospice services were ever used.”

Dr. LeRoy is quick to offer clarification about some of the myths about hospice care. “Many people believe hospice care is only for those with cancer. Actually Hospice of Dayton provides care for patients with a variety of diagnoses including heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, respiratory diseases, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, HIV/AIDS, liver disease, kidney failure, stroke and coma.” Dr. LeRoy also notes that many patients who receive hospice care continue to live and have a high quality of life beyond the six-month life expectancy upon which hospice admission is based. “While physicians refer patients into hospice care when they believe patients are in decline and not expected to survive beyond six months, the reality is that some patients do very well with the concentrated care provided by hospice and can survive for years. Hospice patients who meet eligibility requirements are not bound by time limits and can continue to receive services as needed.” Patients can also continue to see their regular doctor. The caring, patient-focused physicians of Hospice of Dayton serve as specialists and consultants, but do not replace the family doctor as the primary caregiver.

While some hospices require patients to stop all treatments, Hospice of Dayton permits patients to continue to receive chemotherapy, radiation therapy and other treatments designed to ease pain and offer comfort.

Dr. LeRoy recommends that families discuss end-of-life care to assure that individual wishes can be respected and honored. “It’s not an easy conversation, but it’s important for families to know what loved ones want in terms of end-of-life care. Those who love you will want to do everything they can to respect your wishes,” Dr. LeRoy says. “Our family ties are so strong, but sometimes even the strongest family can’t meet every need without help. Hospice of Dayton is a resource that can help when families need it most.”

Decades of Dedication

Larry Glickler was new to Dayton and only 25 years old when he became the owner of a funeral home and began his passion for Hospice of Dayton. “A representative from Hospice of Dayton came to a meeting of funeral directors and asked for volunteers. I volunteered and I never left.” Thirty years later, Larry is still involved with The Hospice of Dayton as a volunteer with the Hospice of Dayton Foundation Development Committee and Ethics Committee.

He is proud of his decades of dedication to the mission and philosophy of hospice, and proud to be part of the historical legacy of the organization. Larry was a member of the first Board of Directors. As the demand for hospice services grew, so did the realization that some of the patients being served were too sick to remain in their home, but they did not want to be hospitalized and faced with futile, unwanted procedures and treatments. The idea of building a care center to meet the needs of patients came at the same time Larry assumed the role of President of the Board. He introduced the motion to build the care center and helped spearhead the capital campaign to make it a reality.

He credits Carol Cline, whose gift was at the time the single largest donation, for enabling construction of the facility. Larry takes most pride in the fact that The Hospice of Dayton serves everyone equally, regardless of ability to pay, and regardless of cost of care. “We never turn anyone away,” Larry says. “What is most dear to my heart, “ Larry shares, “is how often I’ve talked with families who have had an experience at The Hospice of Dayton and they talk with me about the “angels” at hospice and the wonderful care their loved one received. It makes me proud to be a part of it.”

The Storeyteller’s Story

Jerry Gump always has stories to share. Sharing is what comes naturally to Jerry. That’s why he became a volunteer for hospice in 2005.

He was just a few years into his retirement after a thirty year career as a Housing Inspector for the City of Middletown when doctors diagnosed his wife of 35 years with small cell lung cancer and gave her three months to live. Jerry says “we knew it was incurable but we fought the good fight. She lived 22 months after diagnosis.” Becoming a hospice volunteer was an easy decision for Jerry. “It was a chance for me to give back,” Jerry says. “Hospice did so much for us. We appreciated the nurses and home health aides that cared for my wife. Hospice helped give her more time and helped us keep her at home.”

Jerry has taken on all kinds of assignments for hospice, but his most frequent role is that of a visitor, sharing stories with patients, helping take them to the grocery, to the doctor or for treatments. He was visiting a patient one Sunday afternoon when the “dry hurricane” hit. As the winds whipped up, Jerry tried to get onto the patio to move furniture so it wouldn’t be damaged, but was unable to open the door because of the air pressure. The glass topped patio table was smashed. When he returned home he found a huge limb from the neighbor’s tree in his driveway. “It fell exactly where my van would have been parked if I’d been home,” Jerry says. “I took it as a sign that I was where I needed to be.”

All of the patients and families whose lives Jerry has touched would agree. As a hospice volunteer, he is exactly where he needs to be.

 

Walking Beside Patients

There is no one more dedicated to the Hospice of Dayton mission than Judy Cole. Judy, a widow and mother of two, joined Hospice of Dayton as a volunteer following her husband’s death in June, 2004.

She had retired from her job and sought a new and meaningful role. She found it at Hospice of Dayton. Judy often serves as a listening ear to someone who is having a rough time during the end of life journey. Whether she is greeting people as a receptionist, talking to a new patient on the phone, assembling a packet of grief materials, mentoring a new volunteer, making a medical supply kit, attending a patient Quality of Life meeting, sewing a Memory Bear, or filing records, Judy is putting her heart and soul in walking beside patients.

She is an exceptional volunteer and exemplifies the essence of the Heart of Hospice Award with a heart that beats love and care. Judy was honored with the Heart of Hospice award from the Ohio Hospice and

Palliative Care Organization, the top Ohio honor for hospice volunteers, in 2009. Her tremendous dedication to the Hospice of Dayton mission is reflected in her dedication and commitment to the hospice mission. She currently assists with supplies at our Wright Dunbar Community and Team Center, makes deliveries and helps with the Quality of Life training. She is a jack of all trades at Hospice of Dayton.

The Gift of HOPE

Staff members at Hospice of Hospice of Dayton® of Butler & Warren Counties support their hospice program not only with their dedication and passion, but with their donations. The Staff Giving Society is the major source of dollars for the HOPE Fund, which assists patients and their families in circumstances where clinical hospice care is not enough for quality end of life care. The HOPE Fund provides comfort beyond medical demands.

While other agencies may offer similar resources for emergency needs, their process may be time consuming due to paperwork, availability and agency approvals. In many cases, Hospice patients do not have time to wait for assistance. For them, every minute counts. The HOPE Fund allows dollars to be disbursed immediately for urgent patient needs.

Through the HOPE Fund patients can be provided with gift cards for food and other necessities. Among the items HOPE has helped provide are space heaters in the winter, air conditioners in the summer, grab bars for bathtubs, assistance with utility bills, clothing when a patient has lost so much weight nothing fits and they can’t afford to purchase new.

The HOPE Fund has also made possible phone minutes to enable a patient to hear a family member’s voice for the last time; transportation for family members to see a loved one for a last time and final wish opportunities, enabling some dreams to come true. The HOPE Fund reflects the commitment Hospice  staff members have to celebrating every life and every day.

A Golden Celebration Gift

Judie and Paul Schuh celebrated fifty years of marriage recently and turned it into a family contribution to Hospice of Dayton. Judie and Paul’s twelve nieces and nephews wanted to make the anniversary memorable. Knowing of the couple’s passion for the Hospice of Dayton mission, they determined that a contribution in honor of Paul and Judie would be the perfect gift. Judie retired from the organization in 2009 after twelve years of service.

Within months she returned to serve as a volunteer. Judie is also a member of a sorority that has made The Hospice of Dayton their primary charity. Judie and Paul’s lives have also been touched by hospice services in a very personal way. Paul’s mother was a patient at The Ohio State University Medical Center when her condition suddenly deteriorated. The family pulled together hastily trying to comply with her wish to pass her last days in her home. As she was ambulanced from Columbus to her home in Xenia, Hospice of Dayton made immediate arrangements to care for her in her home.

The hospice nurse arrived at the same time as the ambulance at her home and helped settle her comfortably. Forty-five minutes later, surrounded by family, she passed away just as she had wanted, in her own home. For Judie and Paul, the help hospice provided their family reflected the work they value for other families as well. When their twelve nieces and nephews offered to donate $600 in honor of their anniversary to The Hospice of Dayton, they embraced it as an opportunity to “pay forward” the blessing their family had received. “This gift helped make our anniversary even more meaningful,” Judie said in making the contribution. Every donation helps assure The Hospice of Dayton Mission continues to serve patients and families in Miami Valley communities.

The Gift of Sincere Comfort

There is no need greater gift than sincere comfort, and Hospice of Dayton® gave that to me and my family at a very vulnerable time. I often think of those last days with my mother and I think of all the other families touched by the care of Hospice of Dayton®. I remember attending a fundraiser for Hospice of Dayton® before I ever thought I would be so personally connected to it. and now that I am, I appreciate it tremendously. I look forward to the Remembrance Walk every November when I can continue my support.

My mother, Ivy Michaels, was diagnosed with leukemia in September 2007. I was just starting my freshman year at Arizona State, a little far from home. She encouraged me to stay and I felt confident she was in good hands. She went into remission through May 2008, but when I returned from school, the cancer had returned. I didn’t go back to school that fall, instead at the age of 19, I became my mom’s caregiver. My days and nights were devoted to her.

We traveled weekly back and forth to the hospital in Columbus. It was the closest we’d ever been. I was lucky to spend so much time with her. Months after an unsuccessful marrow transplant, my family enlisted the help of Hospice of Dayton®. In the beginning, nurses would come to the house whenever I needed an extra hand. They would come any time of the night. It was a great sense of comfort to know a sweet, caring nurse was only a phone call away.

When Mom’s condition began to deteriorate, she became a patient at Hospice of Dayton® ‘s Hospice House on Wilmington Pike. As her primary caregiver, it wasn’t easy at first to give up control, but it didn’t take very long to realize how amazing everyone was. From the doctors and nurses, to the social workers and counselors at Pathways of Hope, there was always someone there to make the end a little more comfortable for everyone, especially Mom.

My mom was a Hospice of Dayton® patient for three weeks. Her stay at Hospice House was only four days. When she arrived we thought it would only be what they called a “tune up” but it became clear very fast that she would not be coming home. It was an extremely difficult time for all of us, but I can’t imagine what it could have been like without the support and professionalism of the entire staff.

It’s not an easy thing to put the care of someone you love so much in the hands of others, but we couldn’t have asked for better. After Mom passed away in March of 2009, I began to utilize the services at Pathways of Hope. It was a great relief to be able to talk to someone. To this day, when I find myself struggling with her loss, I know I have someone to talk to at Pathways who will help me through. The services at Pathways of Hope are free of charge to those who seek time with any of their bereavement counselors. This was a great help because I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to speak to a bereavement professional. I was lucky to have the indispensable services of Hospice of Dayton® and Pathways of Hope.

I miss my mother very much and contributing is one way to honor her fight and the life she lived. Donations help support families, like mine, and the many others dealing with losing a loved one. I encourage you to support this vital organization.

 

Heirlooms to Open At Centerville Location

The Upscale Resale and More Shop has a new name, Heirlooms, and is expanding to a second location in
Centerville, scheduled to open November 17.

Located at 461 Miamisburg- Centerville Road (Rt. 725) near the Melting Pot, Heirlooms will share the building with the Centerville Team Station where the south Quality of Life Teams (QLT) meet.

Volunteers interested in helping price items, serving as a clerk, and selling online are asked to call Linda
Corey Simpson, 256-9507 x1163.

Operation Organize

“Many hands make light work.”
Your help is needed to organize the outpouring of craft donations from the Dayton community after the article
in the Dayton Daily News.

WORK DAYS
9:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m.
Tuesdays, Nov. 1, 8, 15
Thursdays, Nov. 3, 10

Whatever time you can spare will be appreciated. The empty tubs are ready. We just needs your hands.
Please call Linda Corey Simpson, 256-9507 x1163, and let her know which day you can help organize.

The Art & Science of Healing Strategies for Veterans

As part of Hospice of Dayton’s American Pride veteran care program, area healthcare professionals, veteran’s service organizations and faith communities are invited to attend an educational program on “Veteran’s PTSD – Exploring the Art & Science of Healing Strategies at End-of-Life.” The program is presented in collaboration with the Dayton VA Medical Center and provides CEU credits for healthcare professionals. The goal is to prepare caregivers and supporters to deliver appropriate interventions to veterans suffering from PTSD at end-of-life.

Keynote speaker Wayne Muller is a chaplain, bestselling author and founder and president of Bread for the Journey, a national charity based in Santa Fe that serves the under-privileged. He is a regular contributor to Forbes magazine and has worked as a Senior Scholar for the Fetzer Institute. His address will focus on “Honoring Our Stories.” He will also lead a session on “Holistic and Complementary Interventions for Veterans and Caregivers.”

Edgardo Padin-Rivera, a psychologist with the Cleveland VAMC, has presented widely on the topic of PTSD and will address “Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome & End-of-Life Concerns” as well as “Evidenced Based Psychotherapies for PTSD.”

The program also includes a presentation by Kenny Carnes, actor and storyteller, who holds a Master of Arts degree in Holistic Counseling and has ten years of leadership experience as an army officer, corporate consultant and small business owner. His “Pieces of War” presentation involves storytelling about the veteran experience. He will also lead discussion on “Psychosocial & Emotional Aspects of PTSD: Processing Psychodrama.

The program is scheduled for Tuesday, November 8 at the Hope Hotel and Conference Center, Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Registration is available on-line at www.hospiceofdayton.org or by contacting dclark@hospiceofdayton.org. A fee of $50 includes CEUs, materials, continental breakfast, lunch and snacks. Additional information is also available by contacting the Hospice of Dayton Education and Staff Development office, 937-256-4490, ext. 1102.