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“Say, I do”: A HopeHealth wedding story

A mother-of-the-groom receiving care at the Hulitar Hospice Center was too sick to attend her son’s wedding. So, he brought the wedding to her—complete with flowers, cake and 24 family and friends.

Grief, sudden loss, and Kobe Bryant: Reflections from a grief expert

Many are reeling after the tragic loss of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others. Sudden loss can bring on complicated emotions. HopeHealth’s director of clinical outreach services, Deanna Upchurch, reflects on this tragedy.

End of life care: Why hospice doctors ask before they tell

Talking to doctors doesn’t always come easy, especially in times of a health crisis. Hospice and palliative care providers are expert communicators who help patients find their voice.

Looking back at our most-read stories of the year

More than 30 stories were featured on the HopeHealth Blog in 2019. Which ones rose to the top? Read to find out.

How Santa got his wish: A story of hope and healing

Sometimes even Santa has a wish for the holiday season. Learn the inspiring story of how HopeHealth’s team helped one patient once again play the role he was made for: Santa Claus.

Phase three: Adventure, grief and gratitude

Cindy Laughlin helped her mom live a great “phase three” of her life. Hospice helped them both find peace and comfort. Read the inspiring story.

Holiday remembrance activities for grieving children

Celebrating the holidays after losing a loved one is tough at any age, but it can be especially challenging for the grieving young people in our lives. This is how you can help.

When less is more: the benefits of less aggressive health care

When time matters most, what defines quality end-of-life care for people with life-limiting illness? The answer is not so simple. Dr. Vinay Rao, palliative care physician for HopeHealth, explains.

A Thanksgiving lesson: Gratitude in times of grief

The holiday season can be hard in times of grief. But for many people, noting the good things in life can be an important way to heal while honoring a loved one’s memory. Read our impactful story with Alex Zima, grief support counselor.

A home care aide: “This is more than a job, it’s my passion”

As a new mom, Elaine simply wanted a job with a flexible work arrangement. She ended up finding her 30-year passion. Here is her story.

“She knew me and trusted me:” Our palliative care nurse practitioner opens up

Happy Nurse Practitioner Week! Find out what a patient said to our palliative care NP, Amy Sharron, that made her double over in laughter and appreciate why she loves her job.

A final salute: the grace and dignity of hospice care for veterans

One in four dying Americans has served in the military. Learn how our veteran-to-veteran hospice volunteers can bring profound comfort—from compassionate listening to pinning ceremonies.

Beyond wisdom: One HopeHealth patient shares what dying taught him

John Martin’s hospice experience sparked raw and moving lessons about life, death, self-discovery and what it’s really like to be on hospice services. His final wish was “to go out teaching.” Read his inspiring story.

What is end-of-life spirituality? A hospice chaplain reveals

“What is spiritual care? It’s whatever you want it to be. It is what fulfills you,” writes Jeffrey Thomas, our hospice chaplain. Learn more as we recognize Spiritual Care Week.

Motivated to move: How physical therapy helped a bedridden patient reclaim life

Physical therapists empower patients to build physical strength and mental grit. Read how Ellen, a HopeHealth PT, helped Barbara get a new lease on life.

How to prevent falls, from your head to your feet

For many older adults, the golden years are a time to explore interests while enjoying family and friends—just at a slower pace. Here’s a whole-body look at fall prevention.

Tears, laughter, understanding: Inside a dementia-caregiver support group

People in dementia-caregiver supports groups can cry, laugh, share advice or say nothing at all. Learn what happens in this safe, judgment-free space.

How to support someone who is grieving

How can you support a grieving friend? HopeHealth’s grief counselor, Guy Murgo, shares the do’s and don’ts of supporting someone who is grieving.

A hospice aide’s beautiful mission

Read the inspiring story of how one hospice aide is committed to helping hospice patients feel beautiful at end of life in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

5 special reasons to work for HopeHealth

HopeHealth’s employees are driven to provide compassionate care. Learn how our not-for-profit organization makes sure staff feel cared for, too.

Through sickness and in health: A love story

Read the inspiring story of how hospice helped one Rhode Island couple accomplish what they most wanted: to stay together.

Reframing hope: A Q&A with a hospice doctor who once feared death

While studying hospice and palliative care in medical school, Dr. Christine Nevins-Herbert learned a surprising lesson: “End-of-life care isn’t all about dying and sadness. It’s actually about life and hope,” she says.

5 ways to use mindfulness for grief, stress or anxiety

Practicing mindfulness is a way to ground yourself in the midst of powerful, overwhelming emotions that exhaust the body and mind. If you’re living with grief, anxiety, depression, chronic pain or everyday stress, mindfulness can help you cope or heal. Learn five tips to starting mindfulness today.

Defining dignity: The profound role of hospice aides

Think about a time you couldn’t wait to take a hot shower, brush your teeth or shave. Maybe it was after a long plane ride, a camping trip or a particularly hot day. When you emerged clean, fresh and renewed, chances are you felt more like yourself. Sick patients are no different. They yearn to Read More

Grieving before a death: Anticipatory grief and dementia caregivers

Anticipatory grief is the mourning you feel when someone you love has a life-limiting illness. Learn the symptoms and how to cope for National Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.

“Why I love being a nurse” from home care to hospice

At HopeHealth, our home care and hospice nurses play essential roles in providing care to patients and families. Read our blog to see what makes these specialties at HopeHealth truly special.

From pet therapy to Reiki: Meet our alternative-support volunteers

What do Miss Daily the Dog, a Reiki practitioner and a meditation expert have in common? They all volunteer for HopeHealth hospice. Read their stories in our moving blog post.

Yostena’s story: finding comfort through grief support

Yostena Makram of Rumford, RI, didn’t have time to prepare to say goodbye to her beloved sister, Ireny. Ireny passed away in January 2016, after being diagnosed with advanced cancer. The loss was sudden and devastating, but Yostena’s grief was long and complex. She got through it with help from HopeHealth grief support. Before Ireny Read More

Advance directives: Make your end-of-life wishes known

Advance directives help you share what is most important to you. Learn why it’s critical to let your loved ones and doctors know your wishes regarding end-of-life care.

A lifelong journey with hospice

Three years ago, Anne Evans came to HopeHealth hoping to become a volunteer. When the director of volunteer services asked if she had any experience with hospice, she smiled and answered, “a lifetime.” For as long as Anne can remember, her parents were dedicated hospice volunteers. “My father was so committed to the hospice mission Read More

The profound gifts of being a hospice volunteer

April is National Volunteer Month! HopeHealth hospice volunteer John Corvese shares the bedside stories of care that have touched his heart.

No judgment, only comfort: The important role of hospice social workers

Social workers play a much-appreciated role on every hospice care team. To learn why, we sat down with HopeHealth’s Joni Fortin, a licensed clinical social worker who cares for patients and their families at home. Read more…

Giving back: the vital role of volunteers at HopeHealth

John Corvese of Rhode Island hung up his hat in 2016, retiring from his career in construction equipment sales. He decided to give back to his community, and his choice for volunteering was HopeHealth. Corvese’s reasons were personal. Over the years, hospice care helped his family get through the loss of six loved ones, including Read More

Managing heart disease: 5 tips to stay safe at home

February is National Heart Month, a great time to remind people living with heart disease of important ways to stay safe and comfortable at home.

5 reasons to start hospice sooner than you think

Contrary to myth, hospice care is not just for the final days of life. Although many families don’t call hospice until a loved one’s passing is imminent, many say they wish they’d known about hospice sooner.

Why I love my home care job

Is this blog series, we honor our wonderfully talented employees who care for people whose lives are touched by illness. Here in their own words, HopeHealth’s home care providers reflect on what makes their jobs special. Barbara Grossi, LPN I like working in home care for so many reasons. Most importantly, I like the connections Read More

How to start hospice care, from the first phone call

Picking up the phone to start hospice care—or even ask questions about it—can be an emotional experience. Kayla Gillis of HopeHealth is here to make it easier. “A lot of times people are overwhelmed and they don’t know where to turn, so they just call looking for help,” Kayla explains. “They’re burned out caring for their loved ones and not sure what to do.”

The ABC’s of curative, palliative and hospice care

Contrary to popular belief, hospice care and palliative care are not the same. The differences may surprise you.

Shining lights: a symbol of hope and healing across religions

Denis Lynch, lead chaplain at HopeHealth, reflects on hope as seen in the universal symbols and celebrations of light that mark the darkest time of the year. As we approach the year’s shortest day on December 21, we are all too aware of the decreasing daylight hours and long cold nights. Light and warmth become daily concerns.

Healing through the holidays: 5 self-care tips for managing grief

If you’re mourning the loss of a loved one, you may find the advice in this story is still helpful in the days and months ahead.

Ask these five questions before choosing a hospice care provider

I am a hospice care physician with HopeHealth. My colleagues and I bring comfort and care to individuals and their families when time matters most. If you or a loved one is considering hospice, your doctor may give you a list of hospice agencies to choose from. Not all hospices are the same. You have the right to review your options and learn more about them before making this important decision.

What you don’t know about hospice care (but should)

As a hospice physician with HopeHealth, I care for people with a progressive illness after cure is no longer an option. This final phase of life often comes with significant emotions as well as complex symptoms related to the illness. It’s a vulnerable time for individuals and families, and my colleagues and I try to offer comfort and hope.

Ask the expert: What is palliative care?

It is a term tossed around in our industry, to the point where patients can get confused, so we help to answer the simple question: what is palliative care? Palliative care is a relatively new medical subspecialty that helps patients who are living with a serious illness. Its recognition is growing, but people are still confused about what it is and how it differs from hospice care. Jennifer Ritzau, MD, director of palliative care and medical director at HopeHealth, shares five facts to know about palliative care.

When Public Figures Choose End of Life Comfort Care

In recent months, America has witnessed three public figures choose comfort care in their last days of life: Barbara Bush, Aretha Franklin and Senator John McCain. Although we don’t know exactly when during the course of their illness they chose to suspend curative treatment, we do know that each of them wanted to spend their last days at home with those they love.

How we help Parkinson’s patients move and speak better

For people with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions, it can take a long time to move around and communicate with others in day-to-day living. That’s where BIG & LOUD comes in.

How therapy dogs bring cheer to hospice care

For people who are terminally ill, animal-assisted therapy has been shown to address the basic needs of love, belongingness and self-esteem, according to a 2014 study published in the psychology journal of Mount Saint Mary College. Animal therapy is also associated with natural pain management and emotional support, a decrease in loneliness and an increase in socialization.

Keep moving forward: palliative care and breast cancer

Three decades ago, Marlene McCarthy was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 44. She then spent many years in doctors’ offices and clinics, enduring multiple treatments and therapies and suffering intense chronic pain. A few years ago, Marlene’s primary care physician recommended palliative care, leading her to Dr. Jennifer Ritzau of Hope Palliative Care, part of the HopeHealth family of services.

Avoiding burnout: How to care for yourself when you’re caring for others

If you’re caring for someone with a serious illness, you know the road can be tough. Caregiving can wear you down emotionally and physically and make it hard to respond to others. Here are some tips to avoid burnout and be ready for the task of caregiving.

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