Friday, February 18, 2011

Morning In Vancouver

Coffee in hand at 5am
the view out my window
as I am amazed at the
beauty in
Vancouver BC
This is the morning
that about
3000 Hospice folks from around the world will gather
the Convention Center of Vancouver again today
the most wonderful folks who have dedicated their lives
to caring for those who are facing hard decisions
end of life care!
The annual Assembly of American Academy of HOspice and Palliative Medicine and HOspice and Palliative Nurses Association
is partnering with the British Columbia Hospice and Palliative Care Association and Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians
for this remarkable conference this week.
Such planning has been put into this, the electricity is in the air at the Convention Center as folks have traveled around the world to gather, to share, to learn.
The weavings of the hospice stories will be shared,
the research and cutting edge ways to best care for patients and those who love them will be explored.
I am honored to be invited
to deliver a keynote this morning
to all attending.

Hospice is about LIFE, about living, about dedication to all people and enhancing the lives of those facing end of life care, decisions and making daggone sure that whatever time is left is the best it can be! Really really believing in your deepest heart-body-mind that care of the body is nothing without care of the soul...


Hospice and Palliative Care offer individuals with serious, life-limiting illness and/or disease, expert care and pain symptom management. That combined with holistic care and support to that individual and all those that love them; family, friends and community! Hospice is diverse in its structure, but unified in its mission and values. (at least for the most part!)

I will not even try to tell you that it is always wine and roses... I too know of times when there are thorns among the roses... and we'll just leave it at that.

Dr Harper, Samira Beckwith and Jean Bergaust {all still gorgeous I might add}, and I got to spend some time at this past year at the National Hospice Gala and to remember "back in the day times", and remembered when we started the first task force on minority access and diversity in hospice care back in .... well let's just say back before "diversity was cool" (a long long time ago)! Not to date any of us, but it was a few moons ago! Was so delighted to see Eileen Dohmann and catch up on more of the "back in the day" times and recall those times of "thorns and roses" with not only patients and families but also with others in the field!!! LOL

ah, where was I ... oh right, Hospice in all its glory, that's right...
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization... back in the day it only was known as National Hospice Organization (NHO) so much easier to remember back then! LOL

What an organization it is! It closely monitors trends among programs, has a wonderful marketplace of resources, books, items for sale, a great website for finding a local hospice in areas across the country and is the "pulse" for hospice happenings! Here ya go!

An estimated 1.45 million patients receive care every year: 38.5 percent of all deaths in the U.S. were under the care of a hospice program... so I am wondering ... why is that number so low? How can we educate our communities and let them know Hospice is here for them, for their families, their communities? I guess it just goes to show ya, just like it says in Healing Heartaches, "people don't know what they don't know"! So, we must continue to educate folks, doctors, faith communities, entertainers and others:

HOSPICE IS ABOUT LIFE! Not a place... that is not hospice.... although in patient units are wonderful!

Hospice is a "concept of care"... It is about helping a patient, adding value and quality of care to patients and families and community... Helping someone at the end of life to live as best as possible during the end of life... To live well, to love much, and to have it all for as long as we are blessed to live, with added supports available ~
 S T O M P... "are ya feelin me?"

Did you know there are over 4,850 hospices nationwide? WOW... Most care hospice provides is provided in people's homes, that is where folks want to be; in their home, in their safe place! Lookin' out their window, goin' out to see their garden, their gulf, their mountains, their cities!

And here is another little known fact:

People come to hospice care with many diagnoses:

Cancer; Debility, Heart Disease, Dementia, Lung Disease, Kidney Disease, Children, Teens, Adults, Elders ~ Many many diagnoses....
So I had to just let you know...



In homes, hospitals, nursing homes, on reservations, in your neighborhoods! Never know when you might be sittin next to a hospice worker/volunteer!


Advocates on Capital Hill, we are up to our elbows at times, we are at memorial services, we are having a bake sale at times, we are just around the corner balancing things like you at other times... we hurt and bleed and grieve like everyone else, but hopefully you don't have to be privvy to that!

The National Hospice Foundation donors fuel NHPCO programs, they were the original hearts of vision, mission and hearts of hospice! They were honored at the Gala for their unwavering love and support ~ They laid a foundation of awareness of hospice through faith and mercy... they envision a world where everyone facing serious illness, death and grief will experience the best that humankind can offer. And to make that vision a reality the National Hospice Foundation supports the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization's quality and research initiatives, hospice/palliative care provider education activities; consumer engagements and caregiver services and the Foundation For Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa (FHSSA) Impact Fund, and they support those who are committed to hospice! Here ya go, check it out!
For all that they are doing with research, with magnificent people who are leading the world in honoring the vision of the pioneers in working to assist folks to live right up to the moment that they die with grace, dignity, and honor!

Our dearest Dr Bernice Catherine Harper is of course a founding Mother of many of these wonderful things I might also let you know. A social worker by profession... a heart of hospice by DNA I am sure.
So there you are, more than you can imagine on hospice to go out and be an advocate for HOSPICE...

hug a hospice person today, share a hospice story if you will! Visit them at their website, I also have links on my website as well!
The founder of the mother ship of Hospice; St Christopher's' in England, Dame Cicely Saunders stated: "You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but to live until you die.”

That my friends... is HOSPICE, thank you Dame Saunders for our beginnings... may we continue on with your vision into our future.

So... what's new with all of you today? Any rides on the backs of dolphins? Any new and exciting things on for the day?

The fire is burning, the embers are hot... The sage and sweetgrass are filling the air with delightful smells ... sending HOPE in healing and thoughts on the gentle breeze on this sunny morning to those who know who they are...

Take those meds cuz, feeel better real soon, Stomp EE, feel better, Go my little Oliva on those sweet feet, wopila sissy and Jinxy, and
and all the others who know... you know this.

You are in the thoughts of many, and the arms of the angels... may you find comfort here, strength that you need! S T O M P
C'mon outshine the sun, make it YOUR day... smile til your face aches, extend kindness to those you meet ~

And lastly... what is a day without our beloved Dr Seuss to make you spit your coffee???
"In my world, everyone's a pony and they all eat rainbows and poop butterflies!"

Walk In Beauty
author of
Healing Heartaches, Stories of Life and Loss


Irene M said...

Well GOOD MORNING to you, too, way up there !
Nice photo and great informative blog about Hospice. I have a soft spot in my heart for the contacts I made with the local Hospice while 3 relatives declined/expired.
Anyway ! Tonite is the FULL SNOW MOON
and the International Space Station will be visible for 4 minutes in our sky tonite, also.
Hope everyone has big plans for a lovely weekend of weather, whims & wonder. I have been seeing dolphins for a week now in different places, A GOOD SIGN FOR SPRING !
Love to all, I am F I R M

Angie said...

Good Morning Cuz & everyone~
Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers during my surgery as well as now. I am doing well. Glad to be home and ate some good green beans and mashed taters last night :)
Hospice is a great organization and I am honored to be a part of Carilion New River Valley Hospice here in Radford. I have been a volunteer in the office, a mentor at camps and for a short period of time I was also a CNA. I have met many wonderful people in the organization from Northern VA all the way to Florida~
I am so proud of you cuz and alittle jealous too! Sure wish I was in that beautiful hotel!! I know you will do great as always~~
Again thank you all....I will continue to keep you all in my prayers~~
Luv ya Cuz~~

dotti said...

Good Friday morning Sherry♥ Missed reading the past few days, need to go catch up. Grateful you arrived safely in Vancouver.

The red-tail hawks and crows are playing and riding thermals outside my window vantage-point this morning, what a joy to behold! The deer herd was 20 just a couple nights ago, and the turkey numbered over 2 dozen. I think they are all as thrilled about the warmer weather as me! Spring is just around the corner, well... maybe a few corners ... but CLOSE ~

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, beautiful blogs and beautiful picture. I was blessed to go there a couple of years ago with two of the most beautiful people in the world. We had an amazing time touring the beautiful gardens and the lovely town. I was amazed there was not a piece of trash on the sidewalks anywhere. The other thing I liked about it was no smoking for at least 35ft. from any entrance to a store, hotel or resturant. The shopping was great and the old buildings so well kept and a lot of history. I am sure DRSES is having the time of her life being a part of that many people and so blessed to be able to reach out and touch so many lives. I have been a part of Hospice for many years and you are exactly right about some of the employees. Overall there are some wonderful devoted people who are REAL Hospice people. Have fun and try to get a little relaxing in the down time. Blessings to all. Prayers to all.

Anonymous said...

You are all over the place doc. Need some kind of super technology to keep up with you. I am spinning and twirling just hear about all the places you have been, and all the people wh are so privledged to hear you speak. Enjoy that skyline and all that the beautiful city of Vancouver has to offer.