Category Archives: hospice caregiving

Home Safety, A Look At The Bathroom

This is part two in our four part series on creating a safe environment for an aging love one. Most people are familiar with the concept of childproofing a home when a new baby arrives. There are several steps you can take to “elder-proof” your home and ensure a safe and comfortable environment for your parents in their later years. One of the key rooms of concern is the bathroom. The bathroom can be the most dangerous room in the house, with slippery surfaces that are easy to fall on and sharp or hard corners where someone can hit their head. Making the bathroom safe is an important step in helping your aging loved one to maintain their independence. Here’s a few simple steps: – Add an elevated toilet seat with handgrips on both sides. Ensuring that the toilet tissue is within easy reach can ease the strain on an

How to Shoot a Photo to Remember

Editor’s Note: Here is a great post we’d like to share by Susan Seliger via The New York Times. Sometimes the realization comes almost too late — you sense that your parents or other loved ones may soon be gone, and it dawns on you that you don’t have any recent photos to remember them by. Sure, you might have a few photos of them in their youth, before you even knew them. But what about a photo of them now, so you can remember the person you have come to know so intimately over these years of caring for them? Those photos are harder to come by. As readers of this blog know, those of our parents’ generation did not grow up with a camera in their pockets to record every moment with friends on Facebook. A lot of people who are now elderly “only have a high school

Caregiving and Insomnia

As we grow into adulthood, the amount of sleep that we require diminishes.  As newborns, we can require up to 18 hours of sleep per day. At age 5,we need around 10 hours of sleep and at adulthood 7 hours is acceptable. Unfortunately, meeting these requirements is not always easy and with the added responsibility of being a full time caregiver, sleep may not seem like a top priority. Caring for a loved one is a full time job, and the added effects of insomnia can hamper your ability give. While there are many varied factors that cause sleep disorders, there are several steps that you can take to ensure that you’re getting the best possible chance at a good night’s rest. Establish a regular sleeping schedule. Going to bed at the same time each night and waking in the morning at the same hour can add consistency to your

Looking at Grief from Both Sides

By Linda Donovan, Grief Support Volunteer In 2006, shortly after my husband died of cancer, I began a personal exploration into understanding grief and how to work through it. I turned to Hospice of Santa Cruz County for the healing, compassionate individual and group support that I needed to heal from through my loss. Two years later, armed with new insight based on my own journey, I decided to move over to the “other side” and become a grief support volunteer. I completed a series of training sessions and began to provide individual and group grief support to the community. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. As a recipient of grief support services, I learned that the grief journey is a process. The one-on-one sessions gave me a chance to express my concerns, ask questions, and learn how to adapt to a “new normal”

Looking Back at a Successful Year

by Ann Carney Pomper, Executive Director From time to time, a responsible organization must review and revise its mission, vision, and values to accurately represent its services and the needs of its constituents. During this past year, Hospice of Santa Cruz County’s Board of Directors and executive staff undertook this important task. The resulting intentions, shown on the cover of our newly-released 2009-10 Annual Report, emphasize a long-held ideal—that patients and families are the driving force behind their end-of-life decisions. This concept has been, and will continue to be, foundational to every aspect of HSCC’s programming as we strive to honor the wishes of our community members with the utmost integrity and professionalism. HSCC’s dedicated staff and volunteers provided a record breaking 46,726 days of hospice care during 2009/10 all the while maintaining performance standards that have surpassed state and national benchmarks. Stringent MediCare guidelines for participation were met, thereby securing 90%