Tuesday, December 20, 2011

You Can Definitely See The Difference

“You Can Definitely See the Difference”


“Hospice of Southern Illinois, in my opinion, has changed a lot of different people’s lives in many different ways. I became a Junior Volunteer in June 3rd, 2011. I haven’t been involved for long but I can honestly say that I enjoy everything I’ve been involved in, for example, helping with parades, office work, helping others in need, meeting new people and so much more. Hospice of Southern Illinois is a very interesting and unique environment. Everyone is so friendly. I heard about Hospice of Southern Illinois through my Cousin, Denise Sauerwein. She encouraged me to volunteer and learn a little bit about what they did and what is was all about. From that day on, I thank her more and more every day!!
            I would encourage any teenager or young-adult to give it a chance and volunteer with Hospice of Southern Illinois at least once. You will have a blast just like I did. My first day of Volunteering with Hospice of Southern Illinois, I was in the Shiners’ Parade. It started off as a very hot day and I was starting to regret doing it, but as we continued walking, for me to see how many smiles we brought to the audience it changed my opinion on everything. Some of the comments that were made to us and to the Hospice of Southern Illinois workers brought a tear to my eyes. You can definitely see the difference we made at this event and I will continue to be a part of these events.”
                       
            Thank you, sincerely,
Sara Sauerwein
             
Sara and all of our volunteers are so special to the organization. We value their time, talents, and heart because they are the reason we can assist so many patients and families each year. It is people like Sara who help us spread our message. You can too! You are welcome to join us by becoming a volunteer, or you can simply help us share, educate, and reach out by subscribing to our blog and suggesting it to friends who will spread our message, Hospice of Southern Illinois is here to teach you what hospice is, what we are about, and what we can do for you and your loved ones! No one has to go through the dying process alone. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help.

Live well, laugh often, and love much,
Christine Juehne
Hospice of Southern Illinois
Community Education
1-800-233-1708
www.hospice.org

* * *

My name is Christine Juehne, and I have worked as a community educator for four years at Hospice of Southern Illinois, a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). I will be your hospice guru answering questions, covering stories, and informing you about all hospice topics. I welcome you to our blog! Follow our journey to stay committed to our mission, enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by a terminal illness. If you have further questions about Hospice of Southern Illinois or general hospice questions please feel free to call 618-235-1703 or e-mail me at cjuehne@hospice.org!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Facebook Helps Us Help You!

                      Facebook is the largest social network with over 800 million viewers according to Mashable.com, a social media news forum. Not only is Facebook powerful as a communication tool between family, friends and coworkers, but it is a place where people go to get information all the time.
Hospice of Southern Illinois has taken a leap into the future and accepted Facebook into its current community education practices. We use social media as a new tool in our organization to share, reach out and educate people who are caregivers, have experienced the loss of a loved one or just want to learn about end-of-life choices before the time comes. It is truly important to us to have a presence on Facebook to provide information and resources for people who need us. We just reached 1,000 fans last week! This is a huge accomplishment because now we are out there and able to help more people than ever before. Check out our page, www.facebook.com/hospiceofsouthernillinois and see if there is something that could help you or someone you know. We are here for you, facing the future together. In addition to resources and information, we post photos from events and fundraisers, we list job opportunities, have contests and more to encourage our fans to interact with our page and get the most out of our page.
Facebook helps us spread our message. Facebook helps us help you. Not only are we your not-for-profit hospice committed to excellence, serving patients and families since 1981, but we are your friends that are privileged and honored to have the ability to care for your loved one. As your friend in hospice care, we are here you help you and are available 24 hours a day by phone, 1-800-233-1708, to make a referral, provide grief support, or make an emergency visit.
Help us share, educate, and reach out by subscribing to our blog and suggesting it to friends who will spread our message, Hospice of Southern Illinois is here to teach you what hospice is, what we are about, and what we can do for you and your loved ones! No one has to go through the dying process alone. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help.

Live well, laugh often, and love much,
Christine Juehne
Hospice of Southern Illinois
Community Education
1-800-233-1708
www.hospice.org

* * *

My name is Christine Juehne, and I have worked as a community educator for four years at Hospice of Southern Illinois, a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). I will be your hospice guru answering questions, covering stories, and informing you about all hospice topics. I welcome you to our blog! Follow our journey to stay committed to our mission, enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by a terminal illness. If you have further questions about Hospice of Southern Illinois or general hospice questions please feel free to call 618-235-1703 or e-mail me at cjuehne@hospice.org!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Grief and The Holidays

Grief and The Holidays

            As the holidays approach, the grief from the loss of a loved one can become overwhelming because of family traditions, family gatherings, new experiences and the stress and anxiety already associated with holidays. It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, restless and guilty. There are several other emotions or experiences people may encounter. To help cope with these and others, there are several suggestions we can make to help ease the feelings of grief.

1.      Set boundaries on your expectations and other’s expectations.
2.      Have a meeting or discussion with family/friends about the holiday plans.
3.      Rehearse how you will respond to difficult situations beforehand.
4.      Observe the day in a way that has meaning for you.
5.      Make the holiday an opportunity for healing. A day for renewal of your physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
6.      Be flexible.
7.      Recreate or change traditions. Start something new.
8.      Bring special touches of your loved one to the holiday.
9.      Focus on the concept of gifts/ gift giving. Buy a gift for yourself as well as others.
a.       What is the gift you were given by your loved one?
b.      What did they teach you about life/living?
c.       What positive qualities did they bring out in you?
d.      What was their purpose for being in your life?
10.  Have a plan. 

Help us share, educate, and reach out by subscribing to our blog and suggesting it to friends who will spread our message, Hospice of Southern Illinois is here to teach you what hospice is, what we are about, and what we can do for you and your loved ones! No one has to go through the dying process alone. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help!

Live well, laugh often, and love much,
Christine Juehne
Hospice of Southern Illinois
Community Education
1-800-233-1708
www.hospice.org

* * *

My name is Christine Juehne, and I have worked as a community educator for four years at Hospice of Southern Illinois, a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). I will be your hospice guru answering questions, covering stories, and informing you about all hospice topics. I welcome you to our blog! Follow our journey to stay committed to our mission, enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by a terminal illness! If you have further questions about Hospice of Southern Illinois or general hospice questions please feel free to call 618-235-1703 or e-mail me at cjuehne@hospice.org!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Celebrating National Hospice Month in Novebmer

HOSPICE OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS CELEBRATES NATIONAL HOSPICE MONTH

Join Hospice of Southern Illinois in their celebration in November of National Hospice Month. During National Hospice Month, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and Hospice of Southern Illinois encourage others to emphasize the importance of quality end-of-life care for all Americans, regardless of age, diagnoses or location of care.


Hospice of Southern Illinois started off the month with Dashin’ for Compassion 5K Run/Walk to spread awareness about National Hospice Month. It was a great turnout and we reached out to over 100 people! Throughout the month of November we are reaching out to almost 1000 Facebook Fans by posting a hospice trivia question on Friday’s in November. The first Facebook Fan to answer correctly wins a $10 gift card! Furthermore, our community education team is visiting doctor offices, hospitals, nursing homes and assisted livings to explain the importance of educating patients on end-of-life care now before crisis strikes, for peace of mind later.
Hospice of Southern Illinois strongly advocates sharing materials, resources, and information, reaching out to the community through social media, print media, and community events, and educating everyone who may need, now or in their future, hospice services. Hospice services include specialized, pain management for patient care and grief support for patients and families. With the help of hospice, patients and families can focus on what our primary focus is, improving the quality of life and living each day to the fullest.
For access to information, resources and ways hospice can help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week visit our website at http://www.hospice.org/, “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.hospiceofsouthernillinois, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/wwwhospiceorg, subscribe to our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/hospiceofsouthernil, and read our Blog on Blogger Hospice of Southern Illinois, Inc at http://www.hospiceofsouthernillinois.blogspot.com/.
Help us share, educate, and reach out by subscribing to our blog and suggesting it to friends who will spread our message, Hospice of Southern Illinois is here to teach you what hospice is, what we are about, and what we can do for you and your loved ones! No one has to go through the dying process alone. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help!

Live well, laugh often, and love much,
Christine Juehne
Hospice of Southern Illinois
Community Education
1-800-233-1708
www.hospice.org

* * *

My name is Christine Juehne, and I have worked as a community educator for four years at Hospice of Southern Illinois, a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). I will be your hospice guru answering questions, covering stories, and informing you about all hospice topics. I welcome you to our blog! Follow our journey to stay committed to our mission, enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by a terminal illness! If you have further questions about Hospice of Southern Illinois or general hospice questions please feel free to call 618-235-1703 or e-mail me at cjuehne@hospice.org!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Making Connections Grief Camp


 
Hospice of Southern Illinois held their 7th annual Making Connections Grief Camp for families affected by a loss on October 22, 2011. Parents and children alike enjoyed a day full of crafts and conversation. Each craft dedicated to the memories of lost loved ones, and conversation educating parents on how to help their children, and themselves through the grieving process. The camp is run by Hospice of Southern Illinois Counseling Department staff, and many dedicated Hospice of Southern Illinois volunteers. Each family returns home with a memento of the day, and each volunteer and staff member leaves with understanding of a life remembered through the voices of their loved ones.

Help us share, educate, and reach out by subscribing to our blog and suggesting it to friends who will spread our message, Hospice of Southern Illinois is here to teach you what hospice is, what we are about, and what we can do for you and your loved ones! No one has to go through the dying process alone. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help!

Micha Radford, BS, MA
Counseling Services
Hospice of Southern Illinois
618-235-1703

Micha has been sharing her skills, knowledge and talents with Hospice of Southern Illinois for 5 years. Making Connections Grief Camp is one of many projects Micha and the Counseling Services Department offers. To learn more about the counseling services offered at Hospice of Southern Illinois, visit our website http://www.hospice.org/, call 1.800.233.1708, or visit Magnum's Blog http://www.magnumfacilitydog.blogspot.com/ (Magnum is certified as a Facility Dog and Therapy Dog through C.H.A.M.P. Assistance Dogs, Inc.).

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hospice: The Basics

Hospice: The Basics

A couple months ago I asked our Facebook Fans to share what they want to learn about in our blog. They wanted to know “the basics”, and today the request is answered. It is important to note, while most hospice programs share a similar philosophy, not all hospice services are the same. It is important to find a hospice program that is a good fit for the patient and family’s needs and wants.
In this blog I will help you understand when to call hospice, when a patient is eligible for hospice and what services hospice provides. I will also provide the answers to some frequently asked questions related to hospice.

   ·         When should hospice be called?
Hospice should be called at any time the patient has been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness and the patient is not receiving curative treatment. It is appropriate to discuss all of the patient’s care options with a physician, including hospice.

  • When is it time for hospice?
           In order to be eligible for any hospice services, a patient must meet the following criteria:
    • The patient has a terminal illness with a prognosis of 6 months or less.
    • Comfort care and symptom management become the primary focus.
    • Curative treatment is no longer the patient’s choice or option.
  • What services does a hospice program provide?
Services provided by most hospice programs include:
    • Comfort care and symptom management for patients.
    • Grief support for patients AND their family.

Some Frequently Asked Questions

·         Does Hospice provide 24 hour in home care?
No. Hospice provides intermittent nursing visits to assess, monitor and treat symptoms, as well as teach family and caregivers the skills they need to care for the patient. Team members are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer questions or visit anytime the need for support arises.
·         Does hospice do anything to bring death sooner?
No. Our goal is always to alleviate suffering and manage symptoms. Hospice does nothing to speed up or slow down the dying process. Our role is to lend support and allow the disease process to unfold as comfortably as possible.
·         Can I live alone and still receive hospice services?
Yes. Hospice of Southern Illinois accepts patients who live alone. Part of the admission and ongoing care process, however, is to plan and prepare for the time in a patient’s illness when 24-hour-a-day care will be necessary.
·         Can a hospice patient choose to return to curative treatment?
Yes. Receiving hospice care is always a choice. A patient may leave hospice and return to curative treatment if that is their choice. If the patient later chooses to return to hospice care, Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance companies permit re-activation of the hospice benefit.

For an extended list of frequently asked questions visit our website at the following link, http://www.hospice.org/hospice-care/what-is-hospice/. To make a referral please call 24-hours a day, 1.800.233.1708.
To learn more about Hospice of Southern Illinois’ services please call 618.235.1703. We provide several services to patients and families that differentiate Hospice of Southern Illinois from other hospice programs. For example, Your Community Hospice Home, Relais Bonne Eau, is a place owned and operated by Hospice of Southern Illinois which was designed and developed for hospice patients to go when their own home is not possible or practical and receive 24 hour nursing care. Another example includes our on-call support, patient care, and patient admissions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including nights, weekends and holidays. We are here to serve you!
Help us share, educate, and reach out by subscribing to our blog and suggesting it to friends who will spread our message, Hospice of Southern Illinois is here to teach you what hospice is, what we are about, and what we can do for you and your loved ones! No one has to go through the dying process alone. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help!

Live well, laugh often, and love much,
Christine Juehne
Hospice of Southern Illinois
Community Education
1-800-233-1708
www.hospice.org

* * *

My name is Christine Juehne, and I have worked as a community educator for four years at Hospice of Southern Illinois, a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). I will be your hospice guru answering questions, covering stories, and informing you about all hospice topics. I welcome you to our blog! Follow our journey to stay committed to our mission, enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by a terminal illness! If you have further questions about Hospice of Southern Illinois or general hospice questions please feel free to call 618-235-1703 or e-mail me at cjuehne@hospice.org!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Four Levels of Patient Care

Four Levels of Patient Care

            There are four levels of patient care hospices provide in their services: routine home care, continuous nursing care, in-patient care and respite care. These levels of care are important to understand because each patient and family needs are different, yet all still need hospice services. Depending on the level of care needed, the following definitions will help one decide if they are in need of hospice services. If there is any question whether one is hospice appropriate, always seek advice from a licensed hospice organization or primary care physician to review the medical needs of a patient. Remember, the general admission criteria for a hospice is when a patient has a terminal illness with a prognosis of 6 months or less, comfort care and symptom management become the primary focus, and curative treatment is no longer the patient’s choice or option.

  1. Routine Home Care – This type of care is the most common when patients and families are in need of professional, specialized nursing services in the home like setting, house, assisted living facility, nursing home or hospitals as warranted by the patient’s needs.
  2. Continuous Nursing Care – This level of care is necessary in the home and when a pain and symptom crisis needs to be controlled. Skilled nursing intervention and a higher level of care is provided because the need to manage a crisis in the home.
  3. In-Patient Care – This is a service provided to patients with needs for intense care while in a hospital or hospice home. When there is a pain crisis or inability to get symptoms under control, skilled nursing intervention and around the clock nursing care is implemented to manage the pain and symptom crisis.  
  4. Respite Care – This is a short term stay (up to 5 days) intended to provide relief for caregivers. This type of stay allows caregivers time to rest, catch up on overlooked day-to-day activities, or provide a patient with specialized care that they could not have received otherwise.

These levels of care are all included in hospice services and are provided based on the specific needs of patient and family. Having knowledge about hospice services will only help smooth the process when you or your loved one is in need of hospice services. Knowing is power!
Help us share, educate, and reach out by subscribing to our blog and suggesting it to friends who will spread our message, Hospice of Southern Illinois is here to teach you what hospice is, what we are about, and what we can do for you and your loved ones! No one has to go through the dying process alone. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help!

Live well, laugh often, and love much,
Christine Juehne
Hospice of Southern Illinois
Community Education
1-800-233-1708
www.hospice.org

* * *

My name is Christine Juehne, and I have worked as a community educator for four years at Hospice of Southern Illinois, a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). I will be your hospice guru answering questions, covering stories, and informing you about all hospice topics. I welcome you to our blog! Follow our journey to stay committed to our mission, enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by a terminal illness! If you have further questions about Hospice of Southern Illinois or general hospice questions please feel free to call 618-235-1703 or e-mail me at cjuehne@hospice.org!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fall Fun at Hospice of Southern Illinois

Fall Fun at Hospice of Southern Illinois


Looking for fall fun? We have just the thing for you. If you enjoy music, food, raffles and contests then you need to mark your calendar for September 23, 2011. Hospice of Southern Illinois and American Legion Post 199 present Smash Bash, Concert for the Cause where Smash Band performs a FREE outdoor concert starting at 6 p.m. The concert is held at the American Legion in Edwardsville, Illinois. Proceeds from raffles, contests, food and drinks benefit Hospice of Southern Illinois. If you would like to learn more about Smash Bash, the FREE outdoor concert for a cause, visit www.smashbashforhospice.com or call Kathy Wilson, 618-235-1703.


If that’s not enough fun for one month, you should enter our FIRST ever Hospice of Southern Illinois Facebook photo contest, LIVE LAUGH LOVE CHALLENGE. No purchase necessary! All you have to do to enter is email your photo of how you LIVE LAUGH & LOVE to cjuehne@hospice.org by September 29, 2011! You could win some great prizes including the Grand Prize $100 Gift Certificate to Marvins Camera ($100 Value) and other great prizes from Collision Plus- Super Wash Detail ($75 Value), Artistic Hair Design-Hair Cut + Color ($75 Value, Hospice of Southern Illinois-Movie Basket (Movie, soda, candy, popcorn, $10 Wal-Mart GC- $20 Value), or Bridges of Columbia- Mary Kay Make-up and Massage Basket ($75 Value)! 
 LIVE LAUGH LOVE CHALLENGE is for our fans (YOU) to share what makes you LIVE LAUGH & LOVE through a photo, because a photo says 1000 words. It's our way to learn about you, the patients, friends, family, volunteers, and community who make us the organization we are today. This way we can interact with you and find more and better ways to serve you through our dedication to patients and families first since 1981. Learn how to enter and vote below with four easy steps:
How to Enter & Vote:
1. By Sept 29, submit a photo to cjuehne@hospice.org that shows how you LIVE LAUGH & LOVE with up to a one sentence description. 
2. On Oct 3 all approved photos will be posted to Facebook and voting begins.
3. To vote, after Oct 3, visit Hospice of Southern Illinois’ Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/hospiceofsouthernillinois. “Like “us. Then, click on the “Photo” tab. Next, click the album named LIVE LAUGH LOVE CHALLENGE. “Like” the photo you like best.
4. Get your friends and family to repeat step 3! Photo with the most “Likes” on Oct 27 wins!

We hope you join us in this fun fall month of September! It is jam packed with great opportunities for you to enjoy for FREE! Come on out, we can't wait to see you (or your photos)!

Help us share, educate, and reach out by subscribing to our blog and suggesting it to friends who will spread our message, Hospice of Southern Illinois is here to teach you what hospice is, what we are about, and what we can do for you and your loved ones! No one has to go through the dying process alone. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help!

Live well, laugh often, and love much,
Christine Juehne
Hospice of Southern Illinois
Community Education
1-800-233-1708
www.hospice.org

* * *

My name is Christine Juehne, and I have worked as a community educator for four years at Hospice of Southern Illinois, a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). I will be your hospice guru answering questions, covering stories, and informing you about all hospice topics. I welcome you to our blog! Follow our journey to stay committed to our mission, enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by a terminal illness! If you have further questions about Hospice of Southern Illinois or general hospice questions please feel free to call 618-235-1703 or e-mail me at cjuehne@hospice.org!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Helping in Any Little (OR BIG) Way I Can



Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve.... You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” Hospice of Southern Illinois finds our volunteers extremely important and vital to our organization because all hospices have to provide 5% of the patient care hours by volunteers for Medicare Regulations. If anyone knows how to serve, it is Hospice of Southern Illinois’ dedicated volunteer team documenting 16,465 volunteer hours for 2010!!! Although we have a stunning group, we can never have enough help for two reasons; one, because as we grow our volunteer base must grow to make sure we follow the Medicare Regulations of at least 5% of patient care hours provided by volunteers, and, two, because some volunteers (YOU) have special talents to share with this organization that other volunteers may not have.
Have you ever wanted to be a part of team? Have you ever thought about giving a priceless gift, time? Have you always wanted to volunteer? Let’s see if you fit in with our team. We have volunteers from 16 years old to 93 years old from all walks of life and with varying backgrounds. One thing they ALL have is a heart for our mission – to enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by terminal illness. If this sounds like you, please call 618.235.1703 and ask for one of our Volunteer Coordinators, Susan Relfe, Sally Koval or Crista Birtcher. Below are a few ways you can help and a story from one of our dedicated volunteers!

Volunteer staff supports our mission in numerous ways:
  • Patient Care – Patient Visits, Relais Bonne Eau (Community Hospice Home), Sitting bedside at the end of life, and others
  • Community Education – Health Fairs, Parades, Cookie Baking, and others
  • Fundraising Events – Golf Tournament, Smash Bash, Chili Cook Off, Dashin’ for Compassion 5K, and others
  • Office Work – special mailings, computer work, filing, crafting, and others

Continue reading for Toni’s Story:
“My name is Toni Miller and I am a volunteer for Hospice of Southern Illinois helping out in the Belleville Office.  I bake cookies, put together Training Manuals for new volunteers, type lists, do mailings, etc.

I first realized the great things hospice does back in the late 90’s when a good friend became terminally ill and hospice came in to help.  Since that time there have been several friends who had the need to call upon hospice for assistance.

In 1998 my sister was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and if it were not for the help and care of hospice it would have been an even greater burden on my parents and myself to care for her.  One of the best things was the availability of a social worker who came to my sister’s home to “just talk”.  There were things my sister needed to get off her chest that would have made the situation even harder for my parents.  After all this time I still keep in touch with that young lady and have enjoyed very much being able to do this.

Then in late 2004 my mother was diagnosed with lung and bone cancer.  Her doctor immediately called in hospice even though she was able to get around quite well and was not actually feeling any effects of her disease.  In early 2005 my father had a heart attack and a viral infection and was in intensive care for 10 days.  As a result of this it was necessary to put both of them in a nursing home because my father refused to go into a nursing home by himself; he felt he needed to be at home taking care of my mother.  The help of the nursing home staff and hospice care for my mother were a godsend to me. It was difficult dealing with my father’s illness and his determination that he would be able to return to his home.

My mother passed away in July 2005 and then early in 2006 I needed, again, to seek Hospice care for my father.  He had a failing kidney and congestive heart problems which necessitated almost a monthly trip to the hospital soon after my mother passed away.  My father passed away in June 2006 at which time I decided that I needed to make a change and decided to retire from my job.

A couple of years ago I had lunch with a friend that I hadn’t seen for years and she told me she was quite involved with Hospice of Southern Illinois in the Sparta area and asked if I would be interested in being a volunteer.  I said yes and asked her to send me the information. Then I enrolled in an orientation class.  I just wanted to give back a little of what my family and I had received through hospice care, even though my family’s hospice care was in the St. Louis area.

So here I am helping in any little way I can in the office.”

Share your volunteer or hospice story by commenting on this blog! If you want to volunteer, call today 618.235.1703! We can’t wait to work with you through your gift of time and talents!
Help us share, educate, and reach out by subscribing to our blog and suggesting it to friends who will spread our message, Hospice of Southern Illinois is here to teach you what hospice is, what we are about, and what we can do for you and your loved ones! No one has to go through the dying process alone. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help!

Live well, laugh often, and love much,
Christine Juehne
Hospice of Southern Illinois
Community Education
1-800-233-1708
www.hospice.org

* * *

My name is Christine Juehne, and I have worked as a community educator for four years at Hospice of Southern Illinois, a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). I will be your hospice guru answering questions, covering stories, and informing you about all hospice topics. I welcome you to our blog! Follow our journey to stay committed to our mission, enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by a terminal illness! If you have further questions about Hospice of Southern Illinois or general hospice questions please feel free to call 618-235-1703 or e-mail me at cjuehne@hospice.org!



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Say

What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Say
         
It is commonly emotional, uncomfortable and unfamiliar when experiencing the loss of a loved one or learning about a life-limiting diagnosis. These are the times when comfort may be most needed, but family and friends are unable to communicate properly. They want to help but are speechless or don’t know how to appropriately comfort. Words, silence and actions can be equally powerful, how do you choose?


           Words. Shock and fear overtake those who are experiencing loss or disease. Saying the wrong thing can cause them to avoid reaching out to others in a time when support can be extremely helpful. Be respectful of their situation.
Silence. Without words, so much can be said. Offering a hug or pat on the shoulder shows compassion and support. Just showing up to visit, to a funeral, or to a memorial event can be so supportive. Sending a note that lets them know you are thinking about them. People will remember you spending the most intangible thing with them, time. Your time is precious and will be appreciated because you made an effort.
Actions. People can show support through flowers, memorial donations, dinners, photos, offering a place to stay or helping clean.
I found a great article written in May 2010 in the NY Times by Jane E. Brody. See a portion of it below to see specific examples of what you can do, what to say and what not to say.

“Whether in a card, note, letter, phone message, hug or pat on the shoulder, some people seem to know instinctively how to show they care and will remember the deceased. What stands out most in these messages is their deeply personal quality. People who knew my husband in various walks of life (especially his advocacy for his beloved Prospect Park and his career as a writer for the musical theater) saw him in ways that had escaped me, because I was too close to have their perspective. By sharing these details, they have rounded out my memories of a life shared and separate from his — memories I will cherish for the rest of my life.
What follow are a few examples of condolences that warmed my aching heart, made me smile and told me more about Richard and how he affected others than I had realized even after 43 years of marriage.
Lovely Things to Say and Do
Many of the writers talked about the kind of person Richard was; others recalled memorable times they spent with him. This letter, from an old friend, did both:
“Richard’s unique and puny sense of humor, his Felix-like behavior as he patrolled Prospect Park, his wonderful, expressive and profoundly in-touch words and lyrics will be greatly missed. I so enjoyed the times we spent together, riding bikes down Ocean Parkway and picnicking near Plum Beach, enjoying tastings in your home.”
A Brooklyn neighbor struck a similar note: “I loved his quiet humor and his deep analysis of whatever situations we discussed. His death is a loss to the music world, to Prospect Park, and to all whose lives he touched.”
And this, from another old friend: “He was totally thrilled and very funny on the subject of how the boy from Minnesota and the girl from New York City managed to come together. I remember him telling me how easy he found it to be married, at least to you.”
Others took time to recall how Richard had helped them. “He taught me how important it is to reach out and acknowledge other people when they’ve made an impact on you,” wrote a very new friend. “However briefly, however late in life, he made a large impact on me.” A colleague wrote: “I remember specifically talking to him about grudges and how he told me to drop them. Some of the best advice I’ve ever taken.”
Some of the messages read like character sketches. From a writer of musicals, who sent a poem celebrating Richard’s contribution to her career: “He was one of the most fully realized people I’ve ever met. Opinionated, blunt, droll, smart, dour, but yet so gentle and emotional — all rolled up in that wonderful Swedish package of angst.”
And from a perceptive young friend: “He could be talkative, jovial and wonderfully humorous, with a quick wit and infectious laugh. He could be calm and reflective, letting annoyances pass graciously or trying to temper someone else’s bad disposition. Other times he had no patience for bad behavior, speeches or hubris, providing a quick retort or challenge that left the speaker thoughtful, humbled or at least less bold.”
Others who may have known Richard less well nonetheless found things to say that while recognizing the pain of loss reflected the value of a life well lived. Frank H. T. Rhodes, president emeritus of Cornell University, my alma mater, wrote: “Our mortality is as much an enigma as it is a certainty. Living generously, intelligently and faithfully, as you and Richard have done, give life rich purpose and meaning.”
The dean of my college, Susan A. Henry, wrote after reading more than 200 blog posts from my readers: “I know you will continue to hear many wonderful stories about him during the coming days and weeks and hope you will take pride and comfort in these many reminders of the profound impact he had on those whose lives he touched.”
Jilly Stephens, the executive director of City Harvest, a favorite charity of Richard’s that distributes food that would otherwise be wasted to New Yorkers who need it, noted that he “spoke about growing up in the Great Depression and understood what it can be like for a child to grow up in difficult circumstances, sometimes without enough to eat.”
Many readers didn’t know Richard at all, yet offered me comfort and support. Some sent books that had proved helpful to others, like “The Comfort Book,” by Jane Seskin (Tallfellow Press), “Afterwords,” by Ellen Steinbaum (Blue Unicorn Press), “A Time to Grieve,” by Carol Staudacher (HarperOne), “Solace,” by Roberta Temes (Amacom), and “Living When a Loved One Has Died,” by Rabbi Earl A. Grollman (Beacon Press).
Several neighbors urged me to call on them for any help they could provide, like taking out the garbage, lifting heavy objects and moving my car for street cleaning.
As Dr. Temes, a psychotherapist in Scotch Plains, N.J., advises the bereaved: “This is the time when it is perfectly O.K. to use people. You are using their good will to help yourself function. They benefit because it’s a joy to help someone, while you benefit because it’s a relief to know there is someone nearby on whom you can rely.”
The Unhelpful
Fortunately, no one (not yet, at least) has said to me, “Surely, you’ll meet someone else.” Nor has anyone offered to introduce me to a likely prospect.
When I complained about coming home to an empty house, however, I was not offended by the suggestion that perhaps I should get a dog. Thankfully, though, no one has said, “I know how you feel — my dog died last year,” as if the loss of a pet, however loved, is comparable to the loss of a person.
Many caring people have cautioned me to take care of myself — to be sure to eat well and exercise regularly — but thankfully no one has told me how to grieve. As Rabbi Grollman wrote in his book of poems:
There is no way to predict
how you will feel.
The reactions of grief are
not like recipes,
with given ingredients,
and certain results.
Each person mourns in a
different way.

I know through these lessons that I will do a better job myself when expressing sympathy to someone who has lost a loved one. I hope you will too when you find yourself wondering what to do or say to someone who is grieving.”
What to say when you don’t know what to say is a tough topic and as the poem above notes, there is no way to predict how anyone will feel. To speak with a counselor don’t hesitate to call for support for you or for tips on how to support someone else. Please contact me or Hospice of Southern Illinois with any other hospice questions you have at 618.235.1703. We will be happy to take the time to get your questions answered. Remember, life is about how you live!

Help us share, educate, and reach out by subscribing to our blog and suggesting it to friends who will spread our message, Hospice of Southern Illinois is here to teach you what hospice is, what we are about, and what we can do for you and your loved ones! No one has to go through the dying process alone. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help!

Live well, laugh often, and love much,
Christine Juehne
Hospice of Southern Illinois
Community Education
1-800-233-1708
www.hospice.org

* * *

My name is Christine Juehne, and I have worked as a community educator for four years at Hospice of Southern Illinois, a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). I will be your hospice guru answering questions, covering stories, and informing you about all hospice topics. I welcome you to our blog! Follow our journey to stay committed to our mission, enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by a terminal illness! If you have further questions about Hospice of Southern Illinois or general hospice questions please feel free to call 618-235-1703 or e-mail me at cjuehne@hospice.org!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What is Bereavement?

What is Bereavement?

Bereavement is another word for grief. According to the National Institutes of Health, “grief is defined as a reaction to a major loss. Grief may be triggered by the death of a loved one. People also can experience grief if they have an illness for which there is no cure, or a chronic condition that affects their quality of life. The end of a significant relationship may also cause a grieving process. Everyone feels grief in their own way. However, there are common stages to the process of mourning.”
Hospice of Southern Illinois has a bereavement team that works with families before and after the loss of their loved one. This team has specialized skills to assist families with their needs, regardless of where they are in the grief process. An extension of our bereavement team is a wonderful newsletter, Journeys, which we have purchased, which offers stories to help people relate and provide support to those who are experiencing grief. We offer this newsletter to families up to 13 months after a loved one has passed. If you are interested in viewing a sample, please contact me. I will be happy to send one your way, cjuhene@hospice.org. I would like to share a story from the June 2011 issue, “Grief can mean many things- literally,” by Kenneth J. Doka.

“When Marge stated it was hard to cope with “all the things”- I thought I knew what she meant: dealing with all the emotional work that sometimes is part of the journey of grief – the anger, the guilt, the loneliness, the sadness, and all the regrets. I was wrong.
Marge, quite literally, actually meant the things – her husband’s possessions and cloths, everything in the closets, drawers and garage, the pits and pieces of her husband’s life that bore a mute witness to her loss.
It is tough to deal with the “things of grief,” reminders of our loss. Well-meaning, though perhaps ill-informed friends advise us to get rid of it, to clear everything out. Others may even make subtle or not-so-subtle requests for such “things.”
When dealing with the “things of grief,” the first rule is: there are no rules. Each of us has to make our own decision on what to keep or to give away. One man in my support group shared that, for him, seeing an empty drawer that once was filled with his wife’s clothes would be far worse than still seeing her “things.”
As in many situations of grief, there is no single way to cope with the “things” nor is there a timetable for when to do it. You need not tackle the task (if you choose to tackle it at all) in the first week, month, or even year. You should do it when it seems right, when you are ready.
If you do decide to clear out some of the “things of grief,” you may need to consider another question: Should I do it alone? Again, there are no rules. Some of us prefer to do this alone; others may welcome the support and assistance of family or friends. Either way, some of us may need to go at our own pace – slowly, stopping at times as we confront our memories and our loss.
In some instances, support from family and friends may be especially helpful, even necessary, such as when you cannot proceed on your own timetable. For example, when Paula’s mother died, Paula had only two weeks to vacate her parents’ apartment.
If or when we deal with the “things of grief,” it helps to create systems. My Dad saved everything. The basement was full of boxes that included World War II ration books and every check he wrote in his life. When we cleaned out the house, my brother, sister and I decided to divide things out in to five categories:
Things that clearly could be discarded – These items had no value to us, symbolic or otherwise, Things that we were unsure about – These items we felt we should discuss as a group. Once discussed a decision was made to place them in another category, Things simply referred to as “not now” – We were not ready to decide what to do here: maybe others would need to be consulted; maybe we simply needed to wait a while. We realized that in the midst of grief, we might not always make the best decisions. In such cases, there is reason to delay decisions, Things we would donate or give to other individuals – We knew that my father’s grandchildren and friends would treasure certain items, and Things that each of us wanted to keep – one of the things we know about grief is that we never lose the memories; we retain the bonds even as they change in loss.
But sometimes it is nice to have items that hold those memories, and comfort us in loss. For my sister there are days in the long, cold winter of grief that she finds comfort in wearing our Dad’s old flannel shirt.”

If you are in need of our bereavement team, please do not hesitate to call 1-800-233-1708. Hospice of Southern Illinois is here to teach you what hospice is, what we are about, and what we can do for you and your loved ones! No one has to go through the dying process alone. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help!

Live well, laugh often, and love much,
Christine Juehne
Hospice of Southern Illinois
Community Education
1-800-233-1708
www.hospice.org

* * *

My name is Christine Juehne, and I have worked as a community educator for four years at Hospice of Southern Illinois, a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). I will be your hospice guru answering questions, covering stories, and informing you about all hospice topics. I welcome you to our blog! Follow our journey to stay committed to our mission, enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by a terminal illness! If you have further questions about Hospice of Southern Illinois or general hospice questions please feel free to call 618-235-1703 or e-mail me at cjuehne@hospice.org!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Home Away From Home

 


 


Relais Bonne Eau. Relais Bonne Eau. Relais Bonne Eau. What is Relais Bonne Eau and how do you pronounce it? Relais Bonne Eau (pronounced RELAY-BONE-O), is Your Community Hospice Home. As you know, hospice is a special healthcare option for patients and families who are faced with a terminal illness. Care focuses on pain and symptom management with the goal of enhancing the quality of life. Now for the real answer to your questions, a community hospice home is place for someone to live their final days when their own home or the home of a loved one is not possible or practical. Further, it is extension of hospice, where someone can go to get 24/7 care by specially trained professionals in a skilled nursing facility when spending their final days in their own home or the home of a loved one is not possible or practical.

Relais Bonne Eau, Your Community Hospice Home, loosely translates in French to “a place of rest by good water.” It is one of only two Hospice Homes in Illinois and the first in Southern Illinois. Located in Edwardsville the Hospice Home overlooks a tranquil, 17 wooded acres including a pond, walking paths, fountains, and gardens. The facility provides a supportive environment with 24 hour compassionate care from our team of registered nurses, hospice aids, social workers, counselors, trained volunteers, and full-time medical director, Dr. Lynne Nowak. Since Relais Bonne Eau’s doors opened to accept our first patient in March of 2010, we have stayed committed to being with our patients and their loved ones through the changing needs of the end-of life process and the grief experience. The Community Hospice Home was the next step and we are proud to represent such a new and quality option of healthcare to the communities we serve.

Help us share, educate, and reach out by subscribing to our blog and suggesting it to friends who will spread our message, Hospice of Southern Illinois is here to teach you what hospice is, what we are about, and what we can do for you and your loved ones! No one has to go through the dying process alone. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help!

Live well, laugh often, and love much,
Christine Juehne
Hospice of Southern Illinois
Community Education
1-800-233-1708
www.hospice.org

* * *

My name is Christine Juehne, and I have worked as a community educator for four years at Hospice of Southern Illinois, a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). I will be your hospice guru answering questions, covering stories, and informing you about all hospice topics. I welcome you to our blog! Follow our journey to stay committed to our mission, enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by a terminal illness! If you have further questions about Hospice of Southern Illinois or general hospice questions please feel free to call 618-235-1703 or e-mail me at cjuehne@hospice.org!