By: Jean Fleming, Executive Director
This year, we celebrate 35 years of expert, compassionate end-of-life care to patients and families. This summer, we’re debuting a new fundraising campaign called Open Your Heart to Hospice. Rather than having another event, we wanted to do something different, and we hope fun, something that would really allow us to connect with all of our community, not only to raise funds, but also to talk about hospice and do some myth-busting.
I’d like us all to think about what our hospice staff really do, to remember some of the stories of our neighbors whom we’ve had the privilege to serve. We can’t control when we die, but hospice can help us have as many choices as we possibly can about how we die.
We’ve all been in the hospital at one time or another, and we’ve known people who have died there. We at hospice have certainly had patients in the hospital, receiving great care, but they may have had only hours or a day to live and they just wanted to die at home. Our hospice nurses and social workers bend over backwards, working with the hospital to make that happen. Hospice brings you home. We’ve probably all had the privilege of caring for a loved one at the end of life, or will have that privilege in the future. One of the first things I ever heard a family member say to me about hospice was how much of a support we were to her, how much we lifted from her shoulders so she could truly be with her husband, because the thing that was important to them both was just being together. With hospice, family members don’t have to worry about providing care without support, patients don’t have to worry about the stress their care is placing on their family member. Hospice helps patients and families do whatever it is they need and want to do – together. With dignity.
We all have bucket lists and hospice patients are no different. The only difference is that for hospice patients, time is even more precious. And so hospice teams work like crazy to help patients and families check off as many of those last bucket list items they can – for having a last hunting trip with a son, attending a daughter’s wedding, or seeing a grandchild for the first time. Even getting a signed photo from Dolly Parton. Or, for our patients who are veterans, giving a final salute, surrounded by family and friends to honor their service, one last time. Hospice helps patients and families make the most of every moment they have together. Hospice helps us have no regrets. Hospice helps us make memories we’ll hold close forever. Hospice helps us make the most of that most precious of times. Finally, we all have lost a loved one, a family member, friend, or an acquaintance. We all experience that loss differently. Hospice honors those differences with our bereavement programs and services and helps us imagine a new life while still holding dear the life we’ve lost. Hospice helps us find peace and hope.
We’ll be sharing more information about our new fundraising effort throughout the summer. Stay tuned to our website, social media, and local advertising! Would you like to donate now? Click the button below to visit our donation page!