2012 Spring Newsletter - Hospice Care of the Lowcountry


2012 Spring Newsletter - Hospice Care of the Lowcountry
Spring/Summer 2012
Words from our Executive Director
Dear Friends and Neighbors of Hospice Care of the Lowcountry,
PO Box 3827
Bluffton, SC 29910
PERMIT # 132
When I tell someone I work for hospice, they frequently ask “How can you do that? It must be so sad
and depressing.” Yes, death can be sad at times, but it is a normal process of life and can be a truly beautiful
journey; a journey that a hospice caregiver has the privilege to share. What we receive from the patient far
outweighs what we do for them. We walk away better people for knowing them, keeping a piece of their
wisdom, humanity, life experience and humor – it is a gift we receive. This is the most rewarding and
important work I have ever done.
What is...?
HOSPICE CARE - a special type of palliative
care offered to those with chronic illness and less
than a 6 month life expectancy. The focus is pain
and symptom management, not curing the
disease. This is an acknowledgement that the
patient has exhausted all medical treatment or
has decided to stop treatment.
PALLIATIVE CARE - a type of care designed
to relieve the symptoms of a disease rather than
cure it. The focus is based on improving the
patient’s quality of life by reducing distressing
PALLIATIVE HOME HEALTH CARE—Hospice Care of the Lowcountry, Inc. is one of three
agencies in the state that have this special license. We care for patients with life limiting illnesses that
are in the midst of treatment such as chemotherapy, radiation or blood transfusions. These patients are
frequently suffering from debilitating symptoms such as pain, nausea, insomnia and anxiety. The
patient, family and the RN Case Manager design a personalized plan of care. We provide nursing care
and oversight, a CNA to deliver personal care, a social worker, and if required, physical, speech and
occupational therapy. Our goal is to improve one’s quality of life.
To give comfort and honor dignity for end of life patients and their families through compassionate physical, emotional and
spiritual care, regardless of their financial circumstances
To be the “Gold Standard” of hospice care in the Lowcountry.
Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay awhile, leave footprints
on our hearts, and we are never the same. - Flavia Weedn
Let me share a story with you….
Diane was a beautiful, kindhearted 62 year old woman with ovarian cancer. She
battled it for 7 years. She was knowledgeable of her disease, not afraid to discuss it and knew
what was ahead for her journey. She was a woman who loved life. She was thankful and so
proud of her husband and son. She knew and valued the meaning of friendship; she was a
friend you wanted to have in your corner. Even on her worst day, her first question would
be, “How are you?” She never complained, ever.
She loved nature, the water and lighthouses. She knew her time was limited. She
wanted to plan her memorial service so not to burden her family with the task. She wanted
her ashes spread at sea.
Hop Aboard is a service provided by volunteer boat owners who take our patients out
on the beautiful waters of Hilton Head. Diane wanted to choose a spot to have her ashes
spread. She found her spot on a lovely July afternoon with her husband at her side.
Diane was under our care for almost a year until cancer won the battle. Her memorial service was
truly orchestrated by Diane. Ten chosen family members, friends, and the hospice chaplain went out on the
boat ride for her send off. Later that evening a fabulous celebration of her life was attended by her wonderful
family, friends and hospice team. The evening was full of love, inspiration and the memory of the divine lady
she was. Poems were read, songs were sung and her rock collection that she had inscribed with words of
inspiration - were tossed into the water…peace, courage, happiness, faith, honesty, friendship, family, love… by
attendees of the service.
Good bye Diane, we will certainly miss you. Please know you will live in our hearts, our thoughts and
in our lives for your qualities are never ending.
To give comfort and symptom control to patients diagnosed with a terminal illness who wish to continue life-prolonging
treatment through compassionate, physical and emotional care, regardless of their financial circumstance.
Jenny Brasington, RN, CHPN
Executive Director
To be the “Gold Standard” of palliative home health care in the Lowcountry.
HOSPICE CARE OF THE LOWCOUNTRY • 843-706-2296 • www.hospicecarelc.org
Our Amazing Staff
Words from a Hos-Pet Volunteer
Chrissena Cohen
Anne Lane
Syndi Perry
Kendall Brinkmann, RN-C,
Jenny Brasington, RN, CHPN
Nickie and I were contacted to do in-home visits for a gentleman with
Parkinson's. On our first visit, I realized that he and his wife were pretty
down but Nickie made them smile and laugh. They asked for visits twice
weekly and I decided to make each visit extra fun by dressing Nickie in
different outfits and taking pictures with them. I made cards out of the
pictures for them and brought balloons tied to Nickie's collar for special occasions like
Certified Nursing Assistants birthdays. Mr. M loved to give her treats and once, the treats dropped between his legs
Gwynetta Blathers, CNA
and Nickie dove in for it creating quite a stir and much laughter!
Arlene Clatt, CNA, CHPNA
Takesha Garrett, CNA
Showanna Hugue, CNA
Patricia Robinson, CNA
Kizzy Williams, CNA
Registered Nurses
Jodi Beil, RN
Margo Capucini, RN, APRN
Candace Coggins, RN, APRN
Beth DeFraine, RN
Susan Hackett, RN
Sarah Greene, RN, CHPN
Joni Gruber, RN, CHPN
Debi Malool, RN, BSN,
Sandy Mecca, RN
Thelma Noble, RN, CHPN
Brenda Peters, RN
Sandy Ploszaj, RN, AS
Mary Anne Richardson, RN,
Darlene Valet, RN
Tamara Watson, RN
Rev. Ward Scovel, Ph.D
I forwarded pictures to their children living in different states to let them see the
happiness on their parents’ faces during this tough time. Their children appreciated it
so much because they worried about their parents, but couldn’t be with them as much as
they would have liked due to work requirements.
I didn't realize how much the parents looked forward to the visits until their
granddaughter told me Mr. M insisted on going to bed early the night before and getting
up early the day, so everything would be ready for us! — Dorothy Hundley, a volunteer
Did you know?.... National Averages in 2011
• 41.9% of all deaths had hospice services
• 82.7 % were 65 years or older, of that number 1/3 were over 85 years
• 35.6% of all patients had the diagnosis of Cancer
• 14.3% of all patients had the diagnosis of Heart Disease
• 13.0% of all patients had the diagnosis of Dementia
• 13.0% of all patients had the diagnosis of Debility/Failure to Thrive
• Other diagnoses covered were Lung, Liver, and Kidney Disease, Stroke/Coma,
Neurological Disorders and HIV/AIDs
• Average Length of Stay is 36 Days
• The majority, (58%) of hospices remain independent and non-profit– as we are!
I was asked if I would have
lunch every week with an
Alzheimer's patient who
lived at a local nursing
Apparently, the
gentleman was surrounded
by women in the dining room and wanted
some male companionship. I agreed to do
it—Free Lunch!
At our first lunch, we exchanged
pleasantries with minimal conversation
until he asked me how sales results were
for the month. I had known he was an
executive at a major corporation in the
Midwest during his working years. I
quickly said sales were good. He
immediately challenged me. “I saw the
results and sales were NOT on plan!”
Apparently, Mr. B thought he was still
working. I did not want to upset him so I
told him I would try harder and sales
would improve.
I returned the next week for lunch
and Mr. B proceeded to ask again about
sales. I told him “Very good,” thinking he
would not remember last week and I
would get off easy. No such luck. He again
told me that he read the sales report and
sales were down. I told him I would try
harder and results would improve. Mr. B
said “That is unacceptable. You’re
FIRED!!” I was dismissed from the table
and left. Next week I was prepared. You
guessed it— I was fired again and again for
several more weeks until Mr. B passed. It’s
amazing what a hospice volunteer will do
for a free lunch.
— Art Smith, a volunteer
Bob Gregory,
Bob McCoy,
Vice President
Mike Hagen,
Jan Geraghty
Sharon F. Beasley
Charlie Durkee
Sue Kerr
Karen Kirby
Mike Kristoff
Ray Oleson
Maxene Rogers
Rick Smith
Marc Stuckart
Many Thanks
Jack O. Williams, MD
Hospice Community Thrift,
thank you for your
continued support! Your
funding allows us to
continue our mission. We
are so grateful for all you do!
Heather Witherspoon
Thank you to everyone who
supported our 8th Annual
Yacht Hop! It was our most
successful event yet! We
couldn’t do it without such a
generous, giving community!
Directors Emeritus
Rev. Manuel Holland
Anna Painter, RN
Porter Thompson
Words from our Board President
Dear Friends,
The #1 comment we receive from patient families is “We wish we would have
involved you sooner.”
Medicare states that one is appropriate for hospice service when diagnosed with a
Music Therapy
terminal illness, has a life expectancy of 6 months or less, and is no longer seeking
Mary Scovel, M.M.
curative treatments. By providing pain and symptom management and oversight by the
Social Workers
hospice team, both patient and family can benefit. Earlier admission allows for more
Jonell Allen, MSW
time to plan and make informed decisions; more time to learn and prepare for the
Maggie Clark, BSW
difficulties ahead. Education is provided for what to expect as the end approaches, how
to ensure advance directives are properly in place, and provides a better understanding
Community Relations
Lindsay Daly
of the grieving process that will follow.
Darlene Schuetz
With earlier care provided by our professional staff, patients and their families
can have enhanced quality of life, in comfortable surroundings, for a longer period of
Medical Director
Dr. Scott Condie
Please feel free to share this perspective with others you know who may come to
Associate Medical Director benefit from our services at Hospice Care of the Lowcountry, Inc.
Dr. Gary Thomas
Bob Gregory, HCL Board President
Renee Woodruff, MPH, CT
Board of Directors
Words from a Volunteer
Annalou Thomas
The staff and volunteers of Hospice Care of the Lowcountry would like to thank all who
have supported and made donations to our organization.
If you would like to make a donation, our mailing address is
PO Box 3827, Bluffton, SC 29910
Or visit www.hospicecarelc.org
119 Palmetto Way
Post Office Box 3827
Bluffton, SC 29910
843.706.2296 phone
Upcoming Events
843.706.4095 fax
Memorial Picnic At Jarvis Creek Park
August 8th
Final Dress Rehearsal
September 29th
Saturday, October 20th
9 am-3 pm
For ages 6-16
Sgt. Jasper Park
November 2012
For more information,
call Renee Woodruff at 843.706.2296
[email protected]