Finding the Hope in Hospice … for 10 Years

 

Myra Badorf is the Assistant Director of Development for Homeland Hospice and on August 16th celebrated her 10-year anniversary. Upon looking back, she shares her thoughts with us.

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“Caregiving often calls us to lean into love we didn’t know possible.” ~ Tia Walker, author

I’ve worked for Homeland Hospice for 10 years now … never on the front lines like so many of my colleagues, but never far from the heartbreaking stories of untimely and sometimes tragic deaths, to the beautiful descriptions of the passing of an elderly person who lived a good life full of love of family, success in a career, a strong faith and peace … even welcoming death in the end.

My mother is 89 and my father is 88, and my family and I are blessed to still have both in our lives. Plus, I have never had anyone close to me ever needing the services of hospice. But I too know that it is a matter of time. With two parents looking at the doorstep of 90, I expect it now, and I will welcome the support hospice services have to offer when that time comes.

Here at Homeland Hospice I have the good fortune of reading the letters and cards of thanks that we receive from the many family and friends of those we have cared for over the years. Many of them include a monetary donation as a way to express their appreciation and gratitude, for which we are thankful.

These letters make me proud of the people I work with—our nurses, social workers, aides, chaplains, volunteers. All of them deal with important life issues daily, never wavering from this calling of hospice. I don’t know what burdens they carry for our patients, how it effects their off hours, or their health, but what I do know—to do this, they must have what we refer to as “the heart of hospice.” You see, it takes a special person, especially in the medical field to do this kind of work. Nurses are trained to heal. They are also trained to solve problems—which is an essential skill for anyone providing hospice care. In most cases healing will not come, but the opportunity to ensure a peaceful, pain-free death, managing complicated symptoms … well, our staff are second to none.

“Death is not the enemy sir, indifference is! You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.” ~ Patch Adams