April is National Volunteer Month when organizations across the country recognize the countless hours and priceless talents that volunteers give every day.
At United Hospice of Rockland, we value our volunteers more than most. Many of our volunteers are here to help families through very difficult times and to serve as support for hospice caregivers.
It’s rewarding work, but work that takes dedication, understanding and a true desire to help people Our volunteers experience great joy and share grief with the families they serve, yet they come back even stronger to help the next person who will rely on that strength.
We thank all our volunteers, whether they are hands-on helpers every day, helping us fundraise through our events, keeping our offices and grounds organized and beautiful or supporting us behind the scenes. We truly could not do what we do and serve our communities without your skills and commitment.
Thank you from United Rockland of Hospice and from all the families you have helped along the way.
• 93 Direct Care Volunteers provided 5549 visit to patients & families, for a total of 6,083 hours.
• 336 Non-Direct Care Volunteers provided 4,561 hours.
For most families, advance care planning is the last thing they want to think about. It can be difficult to consider the possibility of a loved one being critically ill or even injured in an accident.
But the truth is, for many families those possibilities will become realities at some point in their lives. Having advance care planning in place can ease some of the stress that comes with making difficult decisions about a loved one’s care.
National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. NHDD is an initiative to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding healthcare and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be.
A key goal of NHDD is to demystify healthcare decision-making and make the topic of advance care planning inescapable. Among other things, NHDD helps people understand that advance healthcare decision-making includes much more than living wills; it is a process that should focus first on conversation and choosing an agent.
The Federal Patient Self-Determination Act requires that all Medicare-participating healthcare facilities inquire about and provide information to patients on Advance Directives; it also requires these facilities to provide community education on Advance Directives. See 42 C.F.R. § 489.102. All healthcare facilities are required to:
United Hospice of Rockland participates in NHDD to help individuals make their wishes known and to let families know that they will have guidance when making healthcare decisions.
“We have seen too many families struggling with healthcare decisions when they should be spending that time – and energy – with their loved ones,” said Donna Branca, director of marketing and public relations at United Hospice of Rockland. “Planning doesn’t mean you are anticipating that something bad will happen. It doesn’t mean you have given up. It’s the best way to be prepared, in a practical way, for what lies ahead.”
As the NHDD organizers put it: "It always seems too early, until it's too late."
Learn more at nationalhealthcare-decisi.squarespace.com
“United Hospice of Rockland was there for my family and my mother Bella when we needed them most,” said Charlene Bradin. “We could not have gone through this alone, and if we did, it would have been so much more difficult.”
Charlene’s mother Bella passed away 11 years ago. She was so grateful for the care she received from hospice that she asked her family to continue to support UHR even after she was gone.
“So, in her memory and honor, we continue to support UHR anyway we can,” said Charlene. “We donate our time, money and volunteer as much as possible. We also have a fundraising team for the Walk, called Birchwood Center.”
“Please join us as we Walk on Sunday, April 15 in memory of my mother.”
Walk with Charlene to honor Bela or in memory of any loved one you have lost.
Register now at www.runsignup.com/uhrwalk.
Hospice services are available in many settings – Home, hospital, nursing home, assisted living. But for people who don’t have the support they need in these environments United Hospice of Rockland welcomes them to make their home at the Joe Raso Hospice Residence (JRHR).
JRHR offers a residential hospice care environment, including:
With 10,000-square-feet of living area situated on 11 beautiful acres amidst a peaceful setting of streams, woodlands, wildlife, and a pond, JRHR offers a tranquil setting for families to spend quality time with their loved ones, all while knowing expert care is available 24/7.
Other amenities at JRHR include:
Since 1988, United Hospice of Rockland has cared for thousands of our neighbors in Rockland and lower Orange Counties, providing the essential care and services that enable those who are seriously ill to remain in their own homes, and offering them comfort, dignity and control over the important decisions that impact their end-of-life care.
JRHR is located at 415 Buena Vista Road, New City, New York.
Please call us at 845-634-4974 to discuss your needs and to have someone answer any questions you may have.
Registration is now open for the June 2018 End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium! This continuing education program is presented by The Center for Education & Professional Development and United Hospice of Rockland.
The consortium is open to Registered Nurses, Nursing Faculty and other Allied Health Professionals. The program prepares nurses across healthcare settings to identify patients in need of hospice and palliative care and to enable nurses to provide primary palliative care to these patients. All attendees will be awarded 6.75 contact hours.
The event is June 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Montefiore Nyack, Cafeteria Conference Room, 160 North Midland Ave., Nyack, NY.
Registration is open until June 4.
Participants can register by email: email@example.com.
The End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) is an effort of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, offering courses for undergraduate faculty, clinical end-of-life care educators and other continuing education/staff development educators. This comprehensive, national education program is designed to improve end-of-life care by nurses, develop a core of expert nursing educators and to coordinate national nursing education efforts in end-of-life care.
Learn more at www.nhpco.org/link/end-life-nursing-education-consortium.
Spring can be a time for making a fresh start and celebrating life.
But for people who are grieving the loss of a loved one, the new growth and rebirth of the season can make their feelings stand out in sharp contrast.
The changing of the seasons can bring a flood of memories and overwhelming emotions, especially during the first year after a loss.
Look at the new life and optimism of spring as an opportunity to nurture yourself and look forward.
Get outside and soak up the springtime: As the weather warms, make a point of getting outside every day, whether you are taking a walk around the block, reading a book in the park or having coffee on the back patio. The first warm breezes of spring are soothing to the soul.
Immerse yourself in growth: Gardening offers the opportunity to help put new life and beauty into the world. Whether you have a vegetable plot or a few colorful flowering pots, tending plants offers the chance to experience the joy of caring for living things and watching them grow.
Capture time: When you feel like the world is moving and changing too quickly, photography can help you hit pause and stay in the moment. Spring is the perfect time to explore nature with a camera (or smartphone) in hand. Take the time to notice and preserve the tiny details of the life all around you.
Plan a trip: If you can get away for a week or even a weekend road trip, travel has a way of offering a new perspective. Go somewhere you’ve never been before, try new foods, take in new landscapes. Travel offers distraction, a chance to get away from the tangible daily reminders of loss and back get in touch with who you are beyond your grief.
Spring comes every year to remind us that life goes on, and it does, leaving us with the question of “how?”
Everyone has a different journey through grief. Let spring guide you down a new path and give you hope as you find your way.
Become part of an organization where you will make a real difference, every day!
United Hospice of Rockland, Inc. (UHR) is now hiring full-time RNs and Home Health Aides (HHAs) with sign-on bonuses for new hires:
A career at UHR is an opportunity to be part of a compassionate, skilled and dedicated team in an environment defined by a commitment to quality, caring and respect. Together we work to provide the highest quality of care and comfort to patients and families facing terminal illness and bereavement.
Learn more about career opportunities at UHR: hospiceofrockland.org/careers
We invite individuals and families who have been touched by United Hospice of Rockland to come together on April 15 to remember our loved ones at the 9th Annual Walk to Remember.
In celebration of our 30th anniversary this year, we are looking for 30 Fundraising Teams to represent each one of the 30 years we have provided compassion, care and dignity to patients and their families in our community facing serious illnesses.
The Walk is held in conjunction with the Rockland Road Runners 29th Annual George Wodicka Hook Half Marathon and 5K Run, sponsored by the Family of Sheldon S. Goldstein in Gratitude to United Hospice of Rockland.
Registration starts at 7 a.m. and the walk kicks off at 8 a.m., rain or shine, at Rockland Lake State Park – North Parking Lot, Congers, NY. Please arrive early to register and to avoid parking fees.
To register for the Walk online, go to runsignup.com/uhrwalk.
To register for the Rockland Road Runners Hook Half Marathon/5K, visit runsignup.com/Race/NY/Congers/GeorgeWodickaHookHalf5KRuns.
Special thanks to our Exclusive Sponsors to date: Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Cares – Walk Sponsor; The Family Of Sheldon S. Goldstein In Gratitude To United Hospice Of Rockland – Race Sponsor; Avanti - Walk Winning Team Cup Sponsor; Crystal Run Healthcare – Time Keeping Sponsor; Joseph W. Sorce Funeral Home – Bib Sponsor; Kohl Industrial Park – Award Sponsor; PDI - Starting Line Sponsor; Raselle & Eddie Fisher – Kids’ Fun Run Sponsor And Stop & Shop – Finish Line Sponsor.
If you are unable to attend but would like to donate, visit runsignup.com/uhrwalk.
Rachel Mann and Hilary Rosen will be walking to honor and remember their father, Phil Rosen.
It’s hard to see a friend or someone we love going through the pain of a loved one’s death. Our first impulse may be to try to fix things, to return life to normal or to make that person happy again.
But grieving is a personal journey that is different for everyone. What most people need, especially in the first few weeks and months, is someone to listen and to know people are there to support them as they need it, on their own terms.
United Hospice of Rockland offers bereavement services for those who have experienced loss through our Hope & Healing Program at the Provident Bank Hope & Healing Center.
At UHR you will find specially trained counselors, clinical social workers and volunteers who have unique expertise in all aspects of bereavement. We offer individual and group support programs and our Healing Hearts Program for families with children, ages 4-18, who have lost a loved one.
Our Hope and Healing Program also offers a Child Loss Support Group specifically for those who have experienced the death of a child within the past three years. This 8-week program includes professional facilitation from trained Bereavement Counselors, education on grief and healing and a safe place to share your feelings and stories.
Our Crisis Intervention/Customized Bereavement Program team can work with your school, business, congregation or community organization to develop a customized plan to meet your group’s needs.
Services are free for those who have lost a family member or friend under Hospice care. Counseling services are available to the community with a fee for those who did not have a loved one in a hospice program.
Call the United Hospice of Rockland’s Hope & Healing Center at 845.634.4974 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to make an appointment to speak with one of our staff.
Doris Ortiz is a brand new Direct Care Volunteer at UHR who immediately put her special skills to work for a family who needed her help.
After attending Direct Care Volunteer training sessions at United Hospice of Rockland, she was uniquely able to assist a Hospice family who primarily spoke Spanish. Fluent in Spanish and English, Doris became a tremendous support to this family and UHR.
In 2011, Doris retired after 34 years of public service, serving as Assistant District Manager and District Manager of Brooklyn Community Board 14 and on the Federal Government Selective Service System (Draft Board).
In 2015, when she and her husband Victor moved to Rockland County, she was moved to volunteer in the human services field she loved. Her gut feeling told her to go to Hospice. She had recently lost her own wonderful mother and knew the challenges of being a caretaker. She thought that interacting with families that had a hospice relative would bring her some comfort and solace.
Working with that first family was comforting for Doris. She knew they valued her presence and was there to help them. She was also impressed with how the nurses, social worker, and all the Hospice staff were so responsive to the family's needs every day.
“For me, it was a bittersweet but enriching experience when the patient eventually passed,” Doris said. “However, it is rewarding for me to know that I can help other families in this situation, even if in a minimal way!”
“I am very grateful to have had this opportunity and look forward to a continued relationship with United Hospice of Rockland.”
UHR is currently seeking volunteers for our upcoming six-week spring Direct Care Training, Mondays from March 12 through April 16, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
UHR especially needs Direct Care Volunteers who, like Doris, can speak a second language, particularly Spanish, Creole, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Yiddish.
We also need volunteers who can assist with tasks such as office work, home repairs, haircuts, manicures, financial advice and more.
Are you a veteran? Volunteer with our Veteran-to-Veteran Volunteer Program which pairs Veteran volunteers with Hospice patients who are Veterans.
If you are interested in volunteering, please complete an online application at hospiceofrockland.org/volunteer/opportunities; mail or drop it off to UHR, Attn: Carol Galione, 11 Stokum Lane, New City, NY 10956 or email cgalione@ hospiceofrockland.org.
Learn more about Doris Ortiz and the many volunteer opportunities at United Hospice of Rockland in our Impact newsletter.
UHR wishes everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day and we hope you are able to spend time with the people you love!
But we also know that for those who have lost a spouse or romantic partner, the first Valentine’s Day without them can be extremely difficult. Valentine’s Day focuses on the love and life uniquely shared between two people, and when one of them is gone, the other is left to cope, grieve and reassess their life.
And those emotions can be complicated. You may be lonely or angry. You may feel guilty about wanting a new relationship. You may be overwhelmed and saddened by special memories – or ready to look back at your shared history and smile. You may have regrets or be reminded of the dreams that were never fulfilled.
How can you get through a season of love that seems focused on your loss? There is no right way to grieve, but here are a few ideas for getting through February, even with a broken heart:
• Don’t deny or put away your feelings for the comfort of others, especially on this holiday.
• Accept help and support from family and friends – but allow yourself privacy to grieve as well.
• Spend time with family to celebrate the life and love you built together.
• Take some time out to look at photos, watch a favorite movie, listen to “your” song or hit a favorite lunch spot to remember and honor your relationship.
• Start a new tradition with single or widowed friends who likely view the holiday with a similar apprehension. Plan a dinner out, a day trip, a party at a home or just a long coffee date.
Your grief is your journey and you should do what feels right for you. However, if your grief is leaving you feeling isolated, chronically depressed and unable to get through daily life, there is help available.
The Hope & Healing Program at United Hospice of Rockland offers specially trained bereavement counselors, social workers and volunteers with expertise in all aspects of bereavement. Our support team can help you navigate the grieving process and help you adjust to your new normal with group and individual support opportunities.
For more information, visit hospiceofrockland.org/our-services/bereavement-services
Each February since 1963, the celebration American Heart Month has reminded us of the importance of taking care of our hearts and has raised awareness about the risks of heart disease and stroke.
And yet almost everyone has been touched by the tragedy of heart disease and stroke.
According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, remain the leading global cause of death with more than 17.9 million deaths each year. That number is expected to rise to more than 23.6 million by 2030.
It's also the number one cause of death in the United States. About 2,300 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, an average of 1 death every 38 seconds.
HeartWise at United Hospice of Rockland
At United Hospice of Rockland (UHR), we recognize that people who have advanced heart disease need high-quality, specialized care that is compassionate and personalized. Our HeartWise program helps to manage patients’ symptoms while focusing on an increased quality of life and reducing unwanted hospital admissions.
HeartWise provides specialized and highly skilled care in patients’ homes, in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, group homes and the Joe Raso Hospice Residence. As a person's condition changes, we can help ease the transition from one setting to another.
What Hospice services are available through HeartWise?
HeartWise also provides support and education to the family members of those with heart disease and stroke.
When to Call:
If you or your loved one are experiencing any of these issues, HeartWise can help. UHR and we will contact your doctor and meet with you to determine the right time for services to begin. The sooner we become involved, the sooner we can help.
And if you have a family history of cardiovascular disease, it’s never too late to start taking better care of your heart. Even modest changes to your diet and lifestyle can improve your heart health and lower your risk of heart disease by as much as 80 percent.
In the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day,” Bill Murray’s character Phil Connors finds himself stuck in an endless loop of the same 24 hours, over and over again.
At first, he finds the repetitions unbearably monotonous, but he soon realizes that every day is a chance to learn something that will make the next day different, and better.
Caregivers can feel as though they are on that same treadmill with no way to get off. The tight schedule and stress of caregiving leave little time for a break in the routine. When one day blends into the next and you lose your perspective, it can be hard to find a way to get out of your own caregiving Groundhog Day.
So how can caregivers fight back against the daily grind and find their own happy ending?
Make each day matter – Don’t let the minutia of daily care overshadow what is truly important: spending quality time with your loved one.
Celebrate memories every day – Tell stories, look at photos, watch favorite movies together.
Be present in the moment – Pause each day and realize that these times will be tomorrow’s memories. Don’t let this time become a blur of errands and chores.
Have reasonable expectations – You can’t do everything and be all things to everyone. Focus on what you can prioritize today for yourself as well as others.
Find respite – “That all sounds great in theory,” you’re thinking, “but I’m exhausted, and there’s so much to do.” Ask for help. Recruit family members and friends to help with caregiving or to take over other responsibilities for you. And accept help when it is offered.
Unlike “Groundhog Day,” you only have this day once. Slow down and appreciate the time you have.
It can be difficult to think about planning for the end of life. There are a lot of decisions to be made, both legal and personal, and the fear that your wishes may not be executed if you should become debilitated.
An advance directive is a way you can make your wishes known and make choices about your health care today for the future. Completing advance directives will assure that your wishes will be followed and that some of the stress of that decision-making will be relieved for your loved ones.
Advance directives consist of four types (Health Care Proxy, Living Will, Do Not Resuscitate Order and Organ Donor Designation). Each enables you to convey your end-of-life wishes if you are unable to communicate.
United Hospice of Rockland, Inc. also recommends a free, secure website that safely stores your advance care documents and makes them accessible to health professionals when needed. For more details, visit www.assuringyourwishes.org.
The website will allow you to review your documents on a regular basis to ensure they still reflect your wishes. You can update your documents at any time by filling out new forms and sending the updated forms to us. You can also revoke your advance directives if you have a change in life circumstances.
Contact United Hospice of Rockland at 845.634.4974 or email@example.com if you would like further information or help with your advance directives.
The last thing a caregiver needs is one more thing to think about, like making New Year’s resolutions.
But after the frantic pace of the holidays have passed it’s an excellent opportunity to set yourself up for a less stressful and more peaceful year.
Here are a few things caregivers can do now to make the coming year a little easier. If you are supporting a primary caregiver, take the initiative to help them achieve these goals.
Ask for and accept help – Have people offered to help you? Too often our first reaction is, “No, I can manage myself.” But a support team will free you to make the most of your time with your loved one. Have a list of tasks ready when someone volunteers.
Get organized – We can get so caught up in the daily grind that efficiency falls by the wayside. Write down every scheduled appointment; set up regular times for other people to help; organize paperwork and designate an easy-access space for medical and other supplies.
Take care of yourself – Schedule the time and support you need for respite and self-care. Take care of your physical and mental health. Take a nap, see a movie or meet a friend for coffee. Consider making a support group or counseling a part of your healthier routine.
Learn to say "No" – You are busy, exhausted and drained. You don’t need to volunteer, take on extra work or do favors for people right now. Practice saying, “I wish I could, but this isn’t a good time.”
Focus on what’s important - If you can accept help, reorganize, take a break and just say “no,” you’ll have the time and energy for what’s most important: Quality time with your loved one – time to sit and visit, look at photos and watch family movies. Don’t let time slip away because you are caught up in an endless to-do list.
United Hospice of Rockland celebrates its 30 year anniversary of providing hospice care to the Rockland and lower Orange communities! We are very thankful that we have been able to provide superior end-of-life care to thousands of your loved ones, friends, neighbors, colleagues and patients.
None of this could have happened without the support of our community. The members of our board of directors and the generosity of our countless donors have provided the necessary expertise to support and expand many of the hospice programs we provide to address the communities emerging needs, including the Joe Raso Hospice Residence that was built in 2012. If you have had a "hospice experience" than you can attest to the commitment, compassion and skill of the staff, who are the heart of hospice. We are fortunate to have had so many volunteers over the years, who continue to assist us in limitless ways.
We look forward to celebrating our anniversary with our Hospice friends and supporters all year long...stay tuned for more celebrations to come.
Our Mission: Honoring Life, Giving Care, Bringing Comfort