A SPECIAL BIRTHDAY
As published at “Moments of Life,” National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, http://moments.nhpco.org/gallery/special-birthday, April 2016
Karen, a long-time Homeland Hospice volunteer, was assigned to visit Mary Frances shortly after she was admitted to hospice services. Mary Frances lived in a skilled nursing facility, and although she had family who visited and the staff were attentive, the hospice Social Worker thought that a volunteer might cheer her days. Little did we know! Karen and Mary Frances became good friends over the year that hospice was in place. Weekly visits varied – wheelchair excursions out to the gardens in the good weather, bingo games, visits to the fish aquariums, lunches together, special homemade treats to enjoy, and mostly just good conversation. Karen is a school teacher, so often her third grade students at Saint Margaret Mary School made cards for Ms. Barna’s “special friend”. And as Mary Frances’ 92nd birthday came close, Karen hoped that a special celebration could honor her friend. The students made cards and planned a program of music and ‘speeches’. The day arrived – with balloons, a cake, family, staff, the students, the school principal and the volunteer. And Mary Frances thoroughly enjoyed it all, even as her health was declining – loving the ‘fuss’ that was being made, smiling brightly at the birthday greetings from the volunteer and her students. What a special day for a very special lady!
Volunteer spotlight: Andy and Sherry Lank give back to Homeland Hospice
In 2012, Andy Lank’s parents died within eight months of each other. In the midst of caring for them and then grieving their deaths, Andy and his wife, Sherry, found consolation from the people of Homeland Hospice.
“They really helped us through the grieving process and were able to ask the right kinds of questions that helped us process everything,” says Andy. “They make you feel comfortable to talk about grieving.”
Today, Andy and Sherry Lank, of Enola, are mainstays among the dedicated volunteers of Homeland Hospice.
“We were extremely pleased with the care and comfort Andy’s parents received,” says Sherry. “We wanted to be a part of it and give back.”
Homeland Hospice Offers Specialized Pediatric Care
We are proud to have added specialized pediatric palliative and hospice care to our services, to ensure that we provide the highest quality care to our patients and families at both ends of the spectrum and every place in between....