Stressed Out and Eating Too Much?



By Barb Goll, Community Education Liaison and Nutritionist

If stress drives you to eat, you are not alone. These past few weeks have been challenging for all!  Eating for emotional reasons instead of hunger isn’t really about food at all. You may not even realize you are doing it until the scale shows otherwise. If you eat until you are uncomfortable and stuffed it is a definite sign that something is going on.  We need healthier ways to deal with our emotions. Here are some of the differences between emotional and physical hunger.

Emotional Hunger

  • Comes on suddenly
  • Wants instant satisfaction
  • Craves specific comfort foods
  • Isn’t satisfied with a full stomach
  • Triggers feelings of guilt and shame

Physical Hunger

  • Comes on gradually
  • Can wait
  • Open to healthy choices
  • Stops when you are full
  • Doesn’t make you feel bad about yourself

A few tips for the emotional eater:

  1. Have COMPASSION for yourself. Thinking negatively about yourself only intensifies the problem. Now that you are aware of the problem you can choose to focus on the thoughts leading up to stress eating.
  2. Write down things that cause you stress so you can make a plan on how to deal with the problems. Some causes of stress will be in your control to change and some will not, however, you are always in control of how you REACT to the stress.
  3. Try a quick burst of ACTIVITY or movement to replace the urge to eat. Just a few minutes can refresh and reduce stress.
  4. Try WAITING at least 10 minutes before grabbing for what you want to eat. Tell yourself, “I can choose to eat this in 10 minutes after I give myself time to think about why I have this urge.” This may help you to not follow the urge, and even if you do, you may feel you are more in control for waiting the 10 minutes.
  5. LAUGHTER has many positive benefits to lighten you mental load. It can increase your intake of oxygen, activate and relieve your stress response, and soothe tension.  In the long run it can improve your immune system, relieve pain and improve your mood. Laughter can be very distracting and keep you from stress eating. A four year old laughs on average 300 times each day and a 40 year old laughs on average 4 times a day. What happened? If you think you are lacking humor or a sense of humor it can be learned.
    • Seek humor through TV sitcoms, funny videos or social media or family photos
    • Laugh about your own situations and remember, laugh and the world laughs with you
    • Surround yourself with friends that make you laugh and/or lighten your spirit
    • Be aware of what is not funny or may be at the expense of others.

Taking care of yourself during these trying times doesn’t mean “me first,” it means “me too!”


COVID-19 Update from Homeland Center



3/26/2020 – Homeland Center

The following information is provided as an update associated to a great deal of focus which has occurred over the last three weeks. Fortunately, to date, Homeland Center has no documented cases of COVID-19, but as health care professionals we know our residents are vulnerable to community spread of the virus.

Rest assured Homeland Center has taken the steps to proactively prepare for cases that may surface in the weeks and months to come. This includes monitoring and sharing the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), ongoing communications with our employees, staffing partners and vendors to self-disclose any potential exposure, and reinforcing with our caregivers the importance of following directions in all’s best interest.

The following provides an overview of measures being taken at Homeland Center to protect the best interest of our Residents:

  • Prohibiting all entry to Homeland Center except for essential staff.
  • Mandatory confidential screening of all staff upon arrival, and at the end of their shift. This includes recent travel history and obtaining temperature. For any individuals who decline to be screened, or meet any of the criteria for potential exposure, they will be asked to leave. Screening occurs 24/7 and with every individual.
  • Continual education to all staff to self-report any signs/symptoms prior to arriving at Homeland Center for determination of steps to occur.
  • Continual education to all staff about infection control requirements, and staff being held accountable to adhere to these requirements.
  • Focused current planning and future projections as to staffing and supplies necessary associated to all aspects of our operations.
  • alternative recreation for covid at homelandOn-going creation of opportunities for our Resident’s to have quality of life experiences while maintaining the six-foot social distancing requirement.
  • Creation of means for you and your family member to telecommunicate. This includes facetime and other remote options. Please contact Ashley Bryan, Director of Social Work to assist in this process.
  • Monitoring CDC and CMS communications and continue close communication with the Department of Health, Emergency Management Agencies, and Healthcare Coalition to be in possession of the most recent understanding of the situation.
  • Adhering to directives provided to us from all regulatory entities.

This is an extremely challenging time. Please be assured we are prepared to implement and update our COVID-19 mitigation actions and response, which may be necessary as we collectively overcome this challenge. If you have any questions, at any time, please contact Barry Ramper at 717-221-7902. You can also call our COVID-19 information line at 717-303-8833.

Thank you for trusting us to maintain the highest level of responsibility for you and your loved one.


Gaura Khanal’s Brave Path to Citizenship


Printed with permission from Gaura and her family.

While physically petite, Gaura Khanal of Mechanicsburg is a pillar of strength, perseverance and love for her family and community. Last fall, she became a United States citizen at age 96.

“My grandmother beamed with pride the day her citizenship was finalized,” Devi, her grandson, says. “She held on to her flag for three days.”

Devi, his wife Maya and sons help care for Gaura, who they affectionately call Granny. She receives services through Homeland Hospice. Homeland Hospice is a hospice program that serves communities throughout Central Pennsylvania.

Gaura’s dream of citizenship began more than a decade ago when she moved to the United States at age 85 after a lifetime of transitions and challenges.

Gaura was born in the Kingdom of Bhutan in the Eastern Himalayas. According to tradition, she was committed to an arranged marriage at age five and lived with her family until she turned 16 when she was united with her husband. A year following her marriage, Gaura gave birth to her son and only child. Six months later, her husband died. Gaura never remarried.

When she was 65, Gaura joined her son (Devi’s father) and his family at a refugee camp in Nepal after years of living under political unrest in Bhutan. While Gaura lived close to her immediate family, many extended family members lived in other camps, making communications difficult.

In 2009, Gaura moved to New Hampshire with her son, daughter-in-law and Devi’s family. The trip from Napal took two days and left Gaura tired and very weak. She was overwhelmed by the language barrier and drastic changes in her environment.

“Granny is a very strong woman,” Maya says. “She was determined to make it to the United States with her family.”

Several years ago, the family relocated to Mechanicsburg to be closer to extended family members and the growing Nepalese community. Gaura often spends time with her extended family in Harrisburg. She has seven grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

“My sons love Granny,” Devi says. “They have a unique and special bond.”

Gaura’s determination to become a U.S. citizen is grounded in her search to find a place to call home. Her native country of Bhutan was rocked by civil unrest and her time in Nepal was always intended to be temporary. Finally, in a quiet neighborhood in Mechanicsburg, Gaura is home.

“Becoming a U.S. citizen has brought Granny peace,” Devi adds. “Our entire family is full of pride and happiness.”

Homeland Hospice serves 14 counties throughout Central Pennsylvania by providing end-of-life care in either a person’s home or wherever they reside, including nursing facilities. Homeland also provides bereavement support to families for a full 13 months following the death of their loved one. This service is available to anyone in the community who is experiencing grief.

Letter from our Homeland at Home Directors



Dear Clients, Patients and Family Members,

Homeland at Home–Hospice, HomeHealth and HomeCare–is actively monitoring the progression of the coronavirus (COVID-19) to ensure that we have the most accurate and latest information on the threat of the virus. As you know, this situation continues to develop rapidly as new cases are identified in our communities. Our protocols are being adjusted as needed, and we will be sure to communicate any changes to you.

While most cases of COVID-19 are mild, causing only fever and cough, a small percentage of cases become severe and may progress particularly in the elderly and in people with underlying medical conditions. Because this is the primary population that Homeland serves, we understand your concerns and want to share with you how our organization is responding to the threat of COVID-19.

We are following updates and procedures from the World Health Organization (WHO), Department of Health (DOH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and local and county authorities. Our response and plans may adjust according to the recommendations from these organizations.

  • As a standard practice, we have an emergency preparedness plan in place. We will continue to follow it as this situation evolves and update it accordingly.
  • All our employees are following established protocol. This includes daily health and temperature screening and staying home when sick.
  • Communication with your caregivers to assess any known risk factors, such as travel to areas with widespread outbreaks or local contact in areas known to have reported cases are ongoing. We will advise them not to report to work if they are deemed high-risk.
  • We believe that home remains the safest place for you or your loved one. Possible exposure will remain the lowest for those who are able to stay in their homes with limited outside contact. For this reason, we feel fortunate to be able to provide care that can keep you at home or limited exposure in group settings through personalized care and support.
  • For the clients and patients we serve who reside in facilities or other group-type living situations, we will work closely with the facility on any protocols, exchange of information, or other guidelines as necessary.
  • We are vigilant about our need to help protect these individuals from illness be it the flu, COVID-19, or any other communicable disease. These measures are not new to us as we seek to minimize risk regularly for our clients and patients, regardless of an outbreak such as this new coronavirus.

Contingency Planning for You or Your Loved One

Depending on the severity of the spread of illness in communities or the response taken by national and state authorities we will make every effort possible to provide you with safe and appropriate care.

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself and Your Family

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
  • Eat well, drink lots of water and get rest to strengthen your immune system.
  • Have a family emergency preparedness plan that includes care coverage and back up support, if possible.
  • Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill.
  • If you have underlying medical issues that put you in the high-risk category, avoid large public gatherings or other places outside the home. Limit your contact with others.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us. I want to assure you that we are following all the necessary protocols to protect our clients, patients and families.


Debbie Klinger, RN, Director of Homeland Hospice

Lora Bierce, RN, WCC, Director of Homeland HomeHealth

Tanya Custer, LPN, Director of Homeland HomeCare



COVID-19 Update – March 14, 2020



Saturday, March 14, 2020 Updated 5:30pm

As you know, there are widespread outbreaks of COVID-19 in various places around the world and in the United States. Because older adults are at significantly higher risk of serious illness and death if infected with this virus, the Federal Government through The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has instructed all Nursing Homes to make restrictions.

Effective immediately, Homeland Center’s nursing and personal care areas are closed to ALL visitors and volunteers until further notice. We understand the importance of visiting with loved ones, but we must maintain the safety and health of our residents as our top priority.

Exceptions will be considered under extraordinary circumstances and will need to be scheduled and approved in advance.  If you wish to discuss this option, please call Ashley Bryan, Director of Social Work at 717-350-8005.

While we are not aware of any cases of COVID-19 at Homeland Center, we take these measures out of an abundance of caution to safeguard the well-being of all our residents, youth, families, volunteers, visitors and staff.

We recommend following CDC guidelines by taking the following steps to stay healthy and help prevent the spread of the virus by visiting

Homeland Center is receiving regular communication from local and state public health officials, including the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Keystone Health Care Coalition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, as well as with officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

viewing cdc guidelines on the computerThese restrictions will remain in place until the CDC states that we are no longer at risk for the spread of COVID-19, and the flu season is over. If you are unable to visit the community in person, residents may be reached by telephone and staff may be able to arrange a virtual visit using video conferencing technology.

The health and well-being of the residents and the staff that serve them is our highest priority. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we do our part to assist in combating the spread of the flu and COVID-19.

Check back for updates on this website. You can also call the Homeland Center Information Hotline at (717) 303-8833 for a recorded message with updates as they occur.

For Employees and Approved Vendors/Deliveries:

The doors at 6th Street and 5th Street parking lot must be used for entrance and exit to the building. You will not be permitted to enter or exit at Muench Street.

Great Moments are Often Found in the Small Moments


By Laurie Murry, Homeland Hospice Volunteer Coordinator

patients enjoying playing cards

Homeland Hospice has a patient who complains about the facility meals, her roommate, the temperature of her room, those who are caring for her, and more–a difficult person to please. But she enjoys playing cards, so we arranged for a volunteer to visit and play cards with her. Once a week, for an hour or so, this patient is a different person–pleasant, and engaging, whether she wins the card games or not.

Another patient 95-years old has resided at a skilled nursing facility for many years. She is alert and oriented, but blind, and stays in bed with her eyes closed because light bothers her. She is not able to be a part of activities, community dining, or other social interactions with residents. Kneeling at the side of her bed (so she could be heard) our volunteer listens as she shares stories from her childhood, one about a tragic train accident that happened in her community while she was young. The volunteer learned this patient has a strong Christian faith and knows music can have a soothing and uplifting affect. She plays classic hymns from her cell phone while our patient smiles and comfortably falls asleep.

volunteer bringing the outdoors inResiding at home with her daughter due to her illness, a third patient becomes short of breath easily, restricting her movement. On a beautiful March day, the sun shines brightly and temperatures are in the mid-’50s, but our patient is unable to get outside. Her volunteer decides to bring the outdoors in and helps her plant a flower from the comfort of her armchair.

Homeland Hospice volunteers meet people where they are and value them for who they are … it’s not about wanting people to be a certain way. Serving is about appreciating the great moments that can be found by helping to create small moments–sitting quietly with a person who may be sound asleep, holding someone’s hand, reading a short story, or taking a patient “out of their room” or situation through conversation or a ride in their wheelchair. By giving without the expectation of receiving … and weaving compassion, heart, kindness, and vulnerability into our lives, we get to serve others, and leave our fingerprints on the world.

There are many ways you can volunteer and serve along-side our staff. Directly being involved with patients can occur through companionship, staying with a patient while a family member runs errands, sitting bedside during the last hours of a patient’s life, or driving a patient to an appointment. You can involve a trained and certified pet in your visits … patients love to see animals! Volunteers can also share time with a bereaved family member after a patient has passed away offering friendship and support during the grieving process. If your skills lie more in the administrative arena, assisting us in the office to help “tame” the mountains of paperwork and mailings is always appreciated. Should you have a special skill that you would like to share, such as nail care, cutting hair, yard work, dog grooming, cooking, etc., let us know and we’ll discuss ways it may be added to improving our patients’ quality of life.

Homeland volunteers receive an initial orientation, that can be done in the comfort of your home, at your own pace, as a self-study. On-going training, support and guidance is provided, as well as, opportunities to meet and fellowship with other volunteers on the team.  As a Homeland volunteer, you can pick your own schedule, serving once a month or a couple of times a week, and in the location of your choosing, such as near your home or workplace.

We would love to have you as part of our volunteer team! For more information on how you might become involved, contact Laurie Murry, Volunteer Coordinator, at or 717-409-8882.

Guitars … with Gratitude… 2020 Tour Begins


Guitars with GratitudeA memorable music tour does more than provide a series of performances. It tells us a story, leaving us with cherished experiences we revisit in our minds and through conversations. Each stop on the tour is unique and personal. Homeland Hospice’s “Guitars … with Gratitude … 2020 Tour,” promises to deliver such an experience.

local musician with guitarLast November, Homeland Hospice celebrated its 10th anniversary with “Guitars, Gifts & Gratitude,” a special event featuring local musicians and a guitar gallery with more than 60 art-inspired guitars generously donated and decorated by local individuals and businesses. The guitars were overwhelmingly well received and are now on tour.

Throughout the year, guitars will be on display at various community venues. The tour extends the 10th anniversary celebration and provides a platform to share the message of Homeland Hospice. Homeland Hospice is a hospice program that serves communities throughout Central Pennsylvania. While each guitar is unique in its design, emotions of hope, compassion and love shine through each piece.

“I knew the designs would be good,” says Ed Savage, Assistant Director of Development for Homeland Center. “But I was blown away by the creativity. The guitars are outstanding.”

gratitude guitar designGuitar sponsors had the opportunity to personally design their guitar or connect with an artist for the creation. From local elementary school students and business owners to professional artists, the guitar designs provided individuals and groups an opportunity to convey their personality. Just like music, the guitars speak to everyone individually while conveying a sense of community.

The guitar tour officially kicked off with an exhibit at Homeland Center, which includes 10 guitars near the aquarium. A sample of the guitars includes a colorful design created by personal care and skilled care residents at Homeland Center. Bethany Sherman, a student whose mother works for Homeland, used hues of blue, green and brown in her earthy-themed guitar, and students from the Silver Academy in Harrisburg brought flashy designs and colors into their work of art.

“The response to the guitars exceeded our expectations,” Savage adds, “It’s been a great project to connect the entire community to Homeland Hospice.”

Artist profiles and stories from the road will be featured throughout 2020. For more information about the guitar tour, please visit

Homeland Hospice is a hospice program that serves 14 communities throughout Central Pennsylvania by providing end-of-life care either in a person’s home or wherever they reside, including nursing facilities. Homeland also provides bereavement support to families for a full 13 months following the death of their loved one. This service is available to anyone in the community who is experiencing grief.