Blog

Volunteer Spotlight: Emmett Houghton

Understated, and behind the scenes, a hospice volunteer quietly makes a tough day better, one act of kindness at a time. Some of his or her many assignments include listening and encouraging our patients and their loved ones, delivering needed medications and supplies, helping with office and event support, or providing handyman and maintenance services.  […]

Could I Use a Support Group?

Grief is a normal and natural reaction to the loss of someone or something special. It can be one of the toughest physical and emotional challenges that we experience.  The experience of grieving can be devastating. It is important at this time to reach out for support. Sometimes people don’t know where to turn for […]

Employee Spotlight: Frances DeRyder

Frances DeRyder, better known as Fran or Franny, is a valued member of the Wings of Hope Hospice team. Fran started at Wings approximately 17 years ago through the Green Thumb program, now called Experience Works. As I had never heard of this program, I looked on the web and found out that this is […]

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Post-Holiday Blues

Festivities are Over The lights and Christmas tree have come down, Christmas cards have stopped coming and friends and family have gone home.  Reality sets in. You are left thinking, “what next?” You are not alone. Some studies show that as many as 25 percent of Americans suffer from mild to full-blown depression after the […]

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My Mom was a Hospice Patient

The Diagnosis When my mother was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, I became aware for the first time of how she would most likely die. Over the next ten years or so, I watched her slowly leave us. Her physical abilities declined and her brain changed. Although it was difficult and sad to witness, the […]

60th Wedding Anniversary in a Nursing Home

I amble down the hall at the Sunset Manor,* trying to make eye contact with the wheelchair bound residents lining the walls. Some return my smile. I make my way into the room of our Wings of Hope Hospice patient. Marty* is a white haired gentleman with wire rim glasses. He is a little slouched […]

Reflections on Death with Dignity

When I started working in hospice care, the phrase ‘death with dignity’ meant maintaining respect for the individual who was dying as that person became more and more vulnerable. For example, dignity meant maintaining a person’s privacy by keeping body parts covered; keeping by a person clean and groomed; talking to instead of around him […]

Fun Facts About the 2016 Great Cookie Caper

The student councils of three area elementary schools, Alamo, Washington, and Dix Street, provided the holiday cookies and packaged them for delivery. This year 23 volunteer drivers shared their time to deliver over 200 trays of holiday cookies to patient families that we now serve and those we have served in the past year. We […]

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A Homeless Man Comes Home for Christmas

This is how our Wings Home provided a place for reunion between a homeless man and his family during their last Christmas together.  He had called from a hospital in Ohio having been told he would soon die.  His sister from Allegan went with her husband to pick him up in their own vehicle, not […]

Loveliness Enhanced by Debilitating Disease

Loveliness Enhanced by Debilitating Disease

The photos near her bed at the skilled nursing facility show her as robust. She was lean with sinewy muscles during her first fifty-five years. Her character was firm, too. The honor and integrity of her family yielded the attractiveness of a trustworthy individual. Her long dark mane of hair framed eyes alive with love […]