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Showing posts from 2015

Volunteer Spotlight: Judy O'Meara

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Name: Judy O’Meara
How long have you been a volunteer? 17 years.
What areas do you work in/what sort of tasks do you do as a volunteer? Patient care in the Care Center.
What made you decide to become a volunteer? In 1989 my brother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and he died that year. I knew he had hospice care and it was wonderful. I thought, “Well, when I retire, if I have some time, that’s what I’d like to do.” And I love it.
Why Angela Hospice? I had heard very nice things about Angela Hospice. It’s in the area…at the time [I started volunteering] I was living in Livonia. It was a wonderful place.
What is your favorite part about volunteering? Being with the patients. Absolutely.
What is one of your favorite stories or memories from volunteering? I was a teacher for 30 years, and one of my students ended up here. That is one of my fondest, one of many fond memories I have, was administering to him.
I think just the overall…meeting with the patients and their families. I know that a lot …

The Season of Giving

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For volunteer Sue Cousino, Christmas Eve isn’t a time to begin cooking for the next day’s festivities, it’s a day to volunteer at Angela Hospice’s Tree of Life, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I always work the 24th because lots of the ladies [volunteers] are cooking and no one wants me to cook,” Sue laughed. “I’d like people to live through the holidays so I don’t volunteer to cook, and no one would eat it anyhow if they knew I did.”
So Sue has spent every Christmas Eve for the past 15 years sitting at the Tree of Life table, helping others and not cooking.
What started as only working weekends has now turned into volunteering multiple times per week since she retired. She tends to work around 10 shifts per season. This year, she’s going above average and working 12.
“I love to do it,” she said.
While some things have changed over the years, Sue’s favorite part about the Tree of Life hasn’t.

“Getting to talk to the people, especially the kids,” she said. “They’re so cute.
“They don…

Home for the Holidays

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Being cared for in the comfort of home is one of the many benefits of home hospice care. But for those residing in the Angela Hospice Care Center, the Care Center can become a comfortable home away from home as well. Our volunteers seek to make the holidays memorable by creating special opportunities for patients and families to come together and experience holiday festivities – such as Thanksgiving supper at the Care Center.

Patient Jean Henegar was able to attend with six of her family members. While Jean is bed-bound, her nurses were able to wheel her bed right into the Day Room, and found her a spot where she could see the whole room – and all 91 of the other guests! Jean’s daughter, Patti Wert, saw how much it brightened her mother’s spirit.

“It meant so much to her,” Patti said. She said Jean’s appetite improved and she was happy to be able to spend the holiday with her family.

“She was just thrilled that we could spend that together as a family because we didn’t know how we wer…

Grief and the Holidays

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There is no way around it: grief is tough. And the holidays can complicate those feelings. Take a look at some of these ideas that might help you or someone you know who is grieving during the holidays.
Talk to your family and friends. Let them know the holidays are going to be challenging, and you may need to make some changes in the way you celebrate this year. Try to spend time with the people who make you feel comfortable and supported, and don’t be afraid to tell them how you feel.Let go of obligations. Don’t take on too much. Allow yourself to say “no” when you need to so that you don’t wear yourself out. Remember, you can’t please everyone all the time, but that’s OK.Change your plans. It might be easier to face the holidays if you approach them in a new way this year. Try a change of scenery, eat out, or switch your traditional brunch to an evening meal. Switching up your routine could make the day easier.Keep it simple. Remember you don’t have to do it all. Consider visiting …

Volunteer Spotlight: Kate Mudry

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Name: Kate Mudry
How long have you been a volunteer? One year.
What areas do you work in/what sort of tasks do you do as a volunteer? Patient care in the Care Center.
What made you decide to become a volunteer? My mother died about three years ago, and she had in-home hospice care in St. Louis. It made a huge impact on her life, and how she died with dignity in a way that she wanted to, on her own terms, and as comfortable as she possibly could.
I have daughters at Ladywood High School and so I drove by Angela Hospice all the time, and I was like, I need to touch base with them because I think there’s a purpose in that.
What is your favorite part about volunteering? I would say the best part is knowing that you’re making a difference in calming someone or making them more comfortable. Or just showing you’re someone who cares. There’s a lot of caring people out there who aren’t afraid of death.
What is one of your favorite stories or memories from volunteering? There was a woman who had been her…

On the Radio

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While many people start looking at Angela Hospice for a loved one after hearing about it through a friend or relative, it was an Angela Hospice radio ad that caught Sue Baumberger’s attention.
“That really is what initially started me looking at Angela Hospice,” said Sue, a Woodhaven resident.
Sue and her sister knew that they would have to put their dad, Richard, on hospice care eventually. He had kidney failure and congested heart failure. So with the help of her sister’s friend, who used to work in hospice, their search was on.
“There were a couple that we had narrowed it down to,” Sue said. “We choose Angela Hospice based on her recommendation as well as what I was able to find online.”
And all those radio ads.
Even though Sue had no prior hospice experience, she had only heard good things about using it. Her sister had first-hand experience after using hospice for her mother-in-law.
“No matter what you’ve heard, you really don’t know until you go through it yourself,” she said.

Volunteer Spotlight: Charlotte Neary

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Name: Charlotte Neary
How long have you been a volunteer? Three-and-a-half years.
What areas do you work in/what sort of tasks do you do as a volunteer? Patient care in the Care Center, gardening, errands, and Tree of Life.
What made you decide to become a volunteer? Once I retired I felt like I needed to give back.
Why Angela Hospice? As us older nurses start maturing we start realizing that there’s a need for it. I have a sister-in-law who is a nurse, and she works in cardiac care.
Just in some of our talks it really got me thinking that maybe hospice would be a good place to volunteer and give back. When I walked in here, I found this place is blessed. It is holy. There is no other way to describe it.
What is your favorite part about volunteering? I get to be the nurse that I learned to be 50 years ago. As the years have gone by nurses do more and more paper work…I think here they do more patient and hands-on care than they do in the hospitals.
What is one of your favorite stories or me…

Volunteer Spotlight: Elizabeth McGill

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Name: Elizabeth McGill
How long have you been a volunteer? Two years.
What areas do you work in/what sort of tasks do you do as a volunteer? Patient care in the Care Center, events, the We Honor Veterans program, and My Nest is Best program.
What made you decide to become a volunteer? Going up and down Newburgh Road to church and that…I kept wanting to volunteer, but I never ventured out until Father Jim over at St. Edith’s was looking for volunteers for the church, and he said, ”What are you waiting for?“ All I could remember was, “What are you waiting for?” It gave me the push.
My friend Debbie, from St. Edith’s, she’s a volunteer [at Angela Hospice] so I said, “Do you think you could get an application?” She said, “Sure.” So that’s where it started. I took the classes and then I started with being a feeder.
What is your favorite part about volunteering? I would say everything really…helping the patients, and if you’re not helping the patients, all the other stuff intertwines where you’re h…

Give a little more on #GivingTuesday

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Most people know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday but do you know about #GivingTuesday? The global day of giving will take place on Tuesday, December 1, and Angela Hospice is one of over 30,000 partners in 68 countries participating. Founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y #GivingTuesday was inspired by the core Jewish value of tikkun olam, which means, “repairing the world.”
#GivingTuesday is all about doing just that: giving; and there are a variety of ways to do that. Give your time. Give some money to your favorite charity (Donate to Angela Hospice here.). Write a wonderful review online about the work one of the #GivingTuesday organizations is doing. It doesn’t matter how or what exactly you do, all that matters is that you give. 
Another way to participate in #GivingTuesday is by taking an #UNselfie. (Download the flyer here.) Take a photo of yourself and put why you are supporting Angela Hospice on #GivingTuesday. Be sure to tag us on Facebook and Twitter so we can put you…

A Breath of Fresh Air

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For Mary Jardine having her dad’s hospice care set up in the living room made life a little easier, and a little funnier.
“It was just funny because it was like a drive-through,” she laughed. “It’s a family joke. That’s how we (the family) get through a lot of things; we have to have a sense of humor.”

Laughter is after all the best medicine, and one that’s helped Mary and her family after the passing of her dad, Norman.
Norman was an Angela Hospice patient for about a month-and-a-half before dying in August, a day before his 88th birthday.
While Norman, who had diabetes and dementia, lived with Mary, it was her other sister, a nurse, who often took him to his doctor appointments and noticed how rapidly he was losing weight. Mary said that her sister talked to the doctor about hospice and then took the necessary steps to see if Norman qualified, which he did. Angela Hospice started coming to the house soon after.
Mary, a Livonia resident, said that being local played a part in choosing Ang…

Volunteer Spotlight: Geri Orlowski

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Name:Geri Orlowski
How long have you been a volunteer? Four years.
What areas do you work in/what sort of tasks do you do as a volunteer? Patient care in the Care Center, receptionist, mailings, and events.
What made you decide to become a volunteer? I took an early retirement. It was like, “What am I going to do?” I also work at the Felician nuns’ down the road. They were part of my childhood growing up, but I live across the street, and I was like, “This is too good to be true.”
I mean, here’s Angela Hospice, here are the Felician nuns, and I perused each one. I had to pursue them. That’s where I wanted to work, at Angela [Hospice].
What is your favorite part about volunteering? Probably that little bit you’re able to do for someone else that doesn’t come with big recognition; you just kind of feel good walking away.


Congrats to Volunteer Bernadette O’Neill!

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This week one of our volunteers, Bernadette O’Neill, was recognized as a Distinguished Volunteer at the Association of Fundraising Professionals Annual Philanthropy Day Dinner!
Bernadette is being honored for her work with the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph, where she works in the development department.
Bernadette also volunteers in the development department at Angela Hospice, and has been a volunteer here for over a decade.
“Bernadette has been so generous to Angela Hospice; sharing not only her time, but her formidable skills and wisdom with our team in the development department,” said Robert Alexander, Angela Hospice Director of Development. “She is one of those rare volunteers who knows her way very well around a computer and is able to multiply our efforts acknowledging and thanking donors for their heartfelt financial support for our hospice work.
“We are so proud of Bernadette’s spirit of volunteerism and congratulate her wholeheartedly!” he continued.
Distinguished …

Celebrate Our Veterans!

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Today we recognize all veterans as part of Veterans Day. As proud Level 2 members of the nationwide We Honor Veterans program, we are honored to serve our veterans all year.
We would also like to say a special thank you to all our Angela Hospice staff and volunteers who served in the armed forces, including: Darlene BublinJan EskinJohn MichalskiMargot ParrMarian RossJohn Stern Thank you to all who have served our country!
“It Is The Veteran”
It is the Veteran, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion. Is it the Veteran, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the Veteran, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech. It is the Veteran, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to assemble. It is the Veteran, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial. It is the Veteran, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote. It is the Veteran, who salutes the flag. It is the Veteran, who serves under the flag.
God bless us a…

Tending the Hospice Garden

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By: Kate McNamara, Angela Hospice Volunteer
Anyone who has been on the Angela Hospice grounds in the warmer months can’t help but notice the beautiful flowers. Eugene Gorczyca is one of the volunteers contributing his time and talent to that remarkable view.

He has his routine starting with the roses at the main entrance. He follows along the contours of the Care Center taking special care of the roses. He waters all the flowers, clipping and weeding as he makes his way around the building. Next, he goes inside the Care Center to care for the flowers in the interior courtyards. Finally, he goes back outside to the front grounds from the Holy Family statue to the Pergola. He completes this flower circuit two to three times a week. During the hot July days, he does this every other day. At the idea he makes the place beautiful, he quickly responded: “There’s no me in this, it takes a village.”

Eugene’s wife Dolores was an Angela Hospice volunteer too before she received Angela Hospice care…

Angela Hospice offers free holiday workshops for all ages

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Grief is tough at any age. And the holidays can complicate those feelings. That’s why Angela Hospice has developed a series of events for those processing a loss during the holiday season.

On Sunday, November 8, the team will hold a free presentation for adults entitled Getting Through the Holidays, from 2:30-4 p.m., at Angela Hospice. This lecture will provide helpful ideas on how to make the holidays easier while dealing with a loss.

For children there is a holiday workshop that will provide a special way to remember a loved one during the holidays.

“Children often feel alone in their grief,” said Bereavement Social Worker Sally Loughrin, who specializes in working with grieving children. “Participating in grief support groups provides an avenue for them to be with others who have had similar losses.”

Loughrin will host Angela Hospice’s Children’s Holiday Workshop for ages 5-12 on Sunday, December 13, from 2-4 p.m. Participants will have the opportunity to craft a special holiday w…

Volunteer Spotlight: Joyce Doyle

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Name: Joyce Doyle
How long have you been a volunteer? About a year.
What areas do you work in/what sort of tasks do you do as a volunteer? Patient care in the Care Center.
What made you decide to become a volunteer? My mom was here [at the Angela Hospice Care Center]. She passed away in January 2014 and I just thought it was such a great sanctuary for people to be.
What is your favorite part about volunteering? Learning from the patients.
What is one of your favorite stories or memories from volunteering? There is a patient here, he says very little, but there are some times when he reacts, and the most he’s ever said to me is “Howdy!” But if I take his picture from when he was in the Air Force and I show it to him, he laughs and laughs. He’s adorable.

Volunteer Spotlight: Beth Judd

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Name: Beth Judd
How long have you been a volunteer? Three years.
What areas do you work in/what sort of tasks do you do as a volunteer? Care Center and spiritual care.
What made you decide to become a volunteer? My mom passed away, and I was with her when she passed, and it was a very profound, beautiful experience for me. It was sad, but it was so moving. I knew that I wanted to be able to bring some comfort to people because to me it wasn’t just sad, it was very spiritual.
Why Angela Hospice? Because Angela's is in Livonia and I live in Livonia. That’s how I got here.
What is your favorite part about volunteering? How rewarding it is. To be able to give someone comfort is the most rewarding experience you can have, and it’s such a beautiful environment here.
At a time when people feel that they couldn’t possibly find comfort, if you’re able to do that, that’s the best gift of all.
What is one of your favorite stories or memories from volunteering? There was a gentleman who was transitioning,…

Benefactor Spotlight: The Riley Foundation

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We are so deeply grateful for the continued support of The Riley Foundation as the elite “HOST” sponsor for this week’s Light Up A Life benefit dinner. For those who are unfamiliar with the longstanding relationship between Mr. George Riley and Angela Hospice please read below.
George Riley’s history with the Felician Sisters did not begin with Angela Hospice. It extends back to his childhood. His father, Frank Riley, worked as chief engineer for the Sisters for 36 years. Mr. Riley has many fond memories of growing up on the Felician grounds, where his family lived in a house still known today as “The Riley House.”
Mr. Riley went on to serve four years in Navy Aviation, before opening a television repair shop in the 1950s. One of George’s first projects was to wire Detroit public school classrooms for DPTV Channel 56’s educational programming.
As time went on, Mr. Riley’s small shop grew into a staff of over 500 and eventually became Clover Technologies, Inc. In 1998, Mr. Riley sold …

That’s A Wrap

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While guests view the auction and raffle baskets at this Friday’s Light Up a Life Gala, two volunteers will be taking a much deserved break.
Carolyn Arlen and Kate Uberti have spent countless hours in the basement of Angela Hospice putting those baskets together over the last few weeks: making sure every item is showcased, double-checking that auction items won’t fall out when the basket is picked up, and using the right colors so nothing clashes.
“They not only have to look pretty but they have to be ergonomically correct,” Carolyn said.
That means doing much more than just putting some items in a basket, throwing a bow on it, and calling it done. The average basket takes them about 20 minutes to create, but there are others that take much longer. Kate said one basket took her nearly an hour because items kept falling over. Carolyn has experienced items that are tricky to incorporate too.
Luckily though, they have each other.
Being able to work together is a key to their success, and both…

Volunteer Spotlight: Kathy Gross

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Name: Kathy Gross
How long have you been a volunteer? Almost a year.
What areas do you work in/what sort of tasks do you do as a volunteer? Patient care in the Care Center and mailings.
What made you decide to become a volunteer? I’ve driven by here for ages. I always saw it and thought it would be nice to do volunteer work but I was working at the time. Then my husband and I retired in 2011, and I lost him in July 2013. That was rough, and I said, “I need to do something with myself.”
I always get more out of doing for somebody; you get so much more back. So I thought, I’ll go see what that’s all about. I honestly didn’t know in the beginning if I could do this or not. I thought, I’ll just try it; and I’m so glad I did. It’s just such a rewarding feeling that you’ve put a smile on somebody’s face.
I just feel glad that I had the opportunity to get to know them a little bit or make it a little nicer for them when I was there.
Why Angela Hospice? Just from driving by it, and I had always heard…

Becoming the Cookie Lady

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Pam Shorter didn’t want to volunteer for hospice.
"At first I thought, 'I don't want to deal with people at the end of life. No, that's depressing!'" she said.
And yet, Pam is now six years into her career as an Angela Hospice volunteer.
It was a friend at church that suggested she volunteer at Angela Hospice. Pam didn't know how she wanted to help, but she took the training class anyway. That's where she heard about Alberta Karll, affectionately known around these parts as "the Pie Lady." Alberta bakes pies each week in the Care Center family kitchen for patients and visitors.
When Pam heard this she was inspired: "I said, 'Well, what about muffins?'"
Now Pam comes in weekly too, along with Alberta, to bake all sorts of goodies for patients and their guests. She's even been recognized out in public as "the Cookie Lady."
The appreciation that patients and families express for her freshly baked goods is humbling …