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How signs may help those who are grieving stay connected to loved ones

Signs from a loved one who has died can be a normal part of grieving. Here are 5 stories of signs that brought comfort and healing.

Physician reveals: Getting the COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant

HopeHealth physician Rebecca MacDonnell-Yilmaz, MD, MPH, writes about her experience getting the COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant.

The surprising truth: Some patients live longer on hospice care

Carole thought her brother had weeks left to live after a serious illness. Then he started hospice and lived five more months. Learn why.

LGBTQ grief support: Journey through love, loss, and renewed hope

LGBTQ grief support group attendee shares about complicated grief and how support groups help.

Hospice aide bonds with patient over shared love of NY Yankees

HopeHealth’s Director of Clinical Outreach Services shares her personal experience of hospice: when a hospice aide cared for her dad.

6 ways to help you heal after the loss of a parent

Losing a parent can be a complicated grief journey. For Father’s Day, HopeHealth Grief Counselor Diane Lambert offers some advice to help you heal.

Q&A: Hospice aide Audrey Thomas goes above and beyond with care

The role of a hospice aide is so vital at end of life. Read how Audrey Thomas, CNA, helps patients and families make the most of every day.

Memorial donations express love, support community

Edye De Marco’s choice to name HopeHealth a beneficiary of in lieu of flowers donations in memory of her husband made a lasting impact.

Hospice care team remembers quiet grace, gentle spirit of Gray Prior

HopeHealth hospice care team members received many blessings during the time they spent with patient Gray Prior.

How technology helps speech therapy patients in pandemic

During Better Hearing & Speech Month, speech language pathologist Joni Hodges talks about using apps to adapt to working with her home care patients during a pandemic.

Nursing as a second career: How four HopeHealth nurses found their way

Meet four HopeHealth nurses who found their way to a rewarding career and never looked back.

An occupational therapist in smallest state looks at big picture

Occupational Therapy Month celebrates OTs like Elizabeth Barr, who helps HopeHealth patients do the things they want and need to do to maintain independence and reach their goals.

Volunteers return to pre-COVID-19 roles … but don’t call it a comeback

HopeHealth volunteers adapted to virtual roles after the pandemic hit last year. Now they’ve started coming back to in-person volunteering — just in time for National Volunteer Week!

New York Times asks HopeHealth about grief after COVID-19

A return to normal after Covid-19 might not be easy for people coping with grief. Our grief support expert urges empathy and understanding for others as society opens up again.

Hospice and palliative care physicians are team players every day

HopeHealth medical director Dr. J. Russell Corcoran reflects on his good fortune to recover from the virus and to work on a great team of hospice and palliative care providers.

Home care team social worker meets patients where they are

HopeHealth Visiting Nurse social worker Deirdre Marzano reaches into her “bag of goodies” to give patients something to talk about — advance directives.

Certified Nurses Day recognizes expertise, dedication to nursing

In honor of Certified Nursing Day, HopeHealth applauds its nurses who make a commitment to stay on top of their clinical care skills.

Hospice social worker helps patients and families make the most of each day

Hospice social worker Sandi Romano has worked in her field for 47 years. Learn the pearls of wisdom she’s picked up along the way.

All the right moves: how a hospice float nurse supports the care team

Hospice is a calling to bear witness and support families through the experience of losing a loved one. “I don’t think of hospice as a job. I think of it as my life’s work,” says Sheila Driscoll, RN, hospice float nurse. Find out why hospice nursing is so inspiring.

7 reasons to become a home care nurse

Home health care nurses love that they get one-on-one time with their patients. But that’s not all. Find out these seven reasons to become a home care nurse.

Get the facts to dispel 7 myths surrounding COVID-19 vaccine

Inaccurate information shouldn’t be the reason you delay or decide against getting vaccinated. Learn the facts here.

COVID-19 vaccine: “There wasn’t a moment of hesitation from me”

HopeHealth nurse Austyn Joaquin, RN, BSN, didn’t hesitate to receive the COVID-19 vaccine once it became available to HopeHealth employees.

Father’s passing deepens a hospice physician’s duty

Errors on death certificates are a widely recognized problem. HopeHealth Medical Director Dr. Christine Nevins Herbert is committed to improving accuracy when she fills out this legal document. Because it’s personal.

Dedicated hospice volunteer celebrates her bittersweet retirement after 15 years of service

Maddie Stepanian shares what serving as a hospice volunteer taught her about other cultures, walks of life and humanity itself.

What were our top-read stories of the year?

Can’t wait to say goodbye to 2020? Before you do, find out which stories our blog readers clicked the most this year.

The holidays aren’t the same in 2020. Grief-support ideas can help

For people in grief, facing the holiday season with pandemic restrictions can be overwhelming. A mix of traditional and virtual grief support techniques can help.

Rita’s robes: A gift of dignity and pizzaz

To honor their mother’s memory, four siblings created specially-made patient gowns with pizzaz to donate to hospice patients.

Why choose hospice? This patient reveals her answers

A woman receiving inpatient hospice care is eager to share her end-of-life wishes and debunk myths about hospice care.

A palliative care doctor shares reflections from the frontlines of COVID-19

From the coronavirus frontline: A palliative care doctor shares how his team has adapted and brought slivers of light to patients and their families this year.

Home care nurse: “I care for the whole person, not the symptoms”

A registered nurse switches to a home care nursing career and discovers the professional and personal enrichment she craved.

How a widow found new meaning through poetry, grief support groups, and helping others

A widow uses poetry to express grief and finds new meaning by leading virtual support groups.

In home care, nurses find unique mix of rigor, freedom and time to connect with patients

Rosa Aguilar, RN, shares why she loves her career practicing modern-day home care with HopeHealth.

HR leader: On gratitude, modern-day home care, and building a welcoming workplace

In a candid interview, HopeHealth’s VP of human resources discusses modern-day home care nursing, working safely during the pandemic, and the importance of listening and learning.

Isolated in the pandemic, dementia caregivers find community through virtual support groups

HopeHealth volunteer John Corvese adapts to the pandemic by using his compassion and skills to co-facilitate virtual support groups for family caregivers of people with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Virtual grief support helps ‘foster dad to hundreds’ find hope after loss

A man in his 80s grieving the loss of his wife finds peace through HopeHealth’s virtual grief support groups in the pandemic.

Finding hope while raising a sick child: pediatric palliative care for children

HopeHealth’s palliative care providers help the Oliveira family avoid burnout and maintain hope while caring for a 2-year-old with a severe health condition.

GQ magazine shines national spotlight on HopeHealth hospice and palliative care physician

Our medical fellow, Dr. Leah McDonald, reveals how pandemic conditions affect hospice and palliative care. Look inside the partnership of HopeHealth and the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Summer Remembrance 2020 keynote speaker: “How hospice brought me peace”

A Rhode Island businessman and town councilor credits hospice care and grief support in helping him become a better father—in this preview of HopeHealth’s 2020 summer remembrance event.

Grief during coronavirus COVID-19: how to recognize it and cope

Feelings of grief in times of crisis are valid and worthy of attention, even when no one has died. Our grief counselor explains the complex emotions of the coronavirus pandemic, and how you can cope.

Mother’s Day story: on hospice and unexpected gifts

HopeHealth CEO Diana Franchitto reflects on her mother’s last month of life under the skilled, compassionate care of hospice providers. “Every day was true living,” Diana shares in this Mother’s Day tribute.

A hospice nurse reveals life on the front line of coronavirus

A hospice nurse in Rhode Island shares how frontline workers are going above and beyond to care for patients in the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis.

Meet Kit and Ken: wife-husband team and hospice volunteers

Celebrating National Volunteer Month: A couple enriches their marriage post-retirement by bringing love and laughter to hospice patients and families.

Dementia caregivers: How to protect your loved one during coronavirus COVID-19

From hand-washing reminder notes to virtual family dinners, here are creative ways for dementia caregivers to keep themselves and loved ones safe during the coronavirus COVID-19 situation.

The gift of peace: Five things you don’t know about hospice social workers

Asking for help from a social worker when your loved one is on hospice could be the greatest gift to you and your family. Learn the surprising ways they help in our latest blog.

Finding calm amidst coronavirus COVID-19

From breathing exercises to focusing on what we’re grateful for, HopeHealth chaplain offers advise on how to mitigate stress amidst COVID-19.

Hospice social worker: On life, death and the wisdom of a Korean proverb

Yoomin Chu is a Korean-born social worker who, at age 50, felt a calling to work with hospice patients. Here, she shares her wisdom on end-of-life living as we celebrate National Social Work Month.

Re-imagining grief support: Horse therapy, yoga, and signs from the afterlife

Horses, yoga, meditation and the search for signs from the afterlife: What do these have in common? They can help you heal while grieving a loss.

“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 express what matters most to you at the end of life. Learn why it’s so important to let your loved ones and doctors know your wishes.

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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