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How (and why) to start a gratitude practice

By focusing on gratitude, you can improve your mood, your outlook and even your quality of life. But like any habit, it takes practice. Here’s how to get started.

“Dear Veteran”: A letter-writing campaign reaches veterans at the end of life

Student volunteers from Brown University have been sending thank-you letters to veterans at HopeHealth. Here’s what the letters mean to veterans, and to the students who write them.

On the road with a home care physical therapist

Home care physical therapy meets patients in the intimacy of home, tackling the specific challenges of the environment where they live. A physical therapist shares what it’s like.

Knocking on doors: How a silent monk became a hospice chaplain

Denis Lynch was a silent monk for 16 years. Today, he’s a hospice chaplain. Here’s how his path led to HopeHealth, and the lessons along the way.

7 common myths about palliative care

If you’re living with serious illness, palliative care can transform your life. But due to common myths, not enough patients understand how. Here’s what palliative care is — and isn’t.

Full circle: The inspiring journey of a volunteer turned patient

Over 12 years, volunteer Nancy Reiser shared many gifts with patients and families: compassion, a generous spirit, boundless energy. At the end of life, she made a final gift that will last forever.

5 ways physical therapy empowers patients

From learning to live safely with a chronic condition to getting back to 100% after an injury, physical therapy builds patients’ strength, skills — and confidence.

Activities to prepare your child for the death of a loved one

Kids with a parent, sibling or loved one on hospice need help coping with anticipatory grief, and preparing for what’s ahead. These activities can help.

A matter of wellness: Why health workers need a Professional Pause

Healthcare work is a special calling, with unique emotional demands. To support employees, HopeHealth launched Professional Pause. These monthly “well-being debriefings” use a simple, powerful technique to prevent burnout.

In the halls of Hulitar: An inpatient hospice nurse opens up

An inpatient hospice nurse opens up about his experiences at Hulitar Hospice Center, and what it means for patients and their families spending their final moments together.

What to expect from hospice care? A South County volunteer tells her story

Joy, comfort, connection: In 10 years as a HopeHealth volunteer, Dace Krasts of South County, RI, has seen the many sides of hospice care.

Connected, even after death: Where to put your love when you’ve lost someone special

When you’ve lost someone special, your love for them continues. Where can you put that love? A grief expert shares ways to heal and feel connected after a death.

How to plan meaningful activities for someone living with dementia

If your loved one is living with dementia, meaningful activities can help them feel connected, engaged and valued. Here are tips and ideas to get you started.

South County spotlight: After personal loss, a grief counselor finds her calling

When Marsha Ireland was 36, she lost her husband and the father of her young children. In the wake of that loss, she found her calling as a grief counselor.

From a dementia caregiver: 3 lessons that changed everything

Caring for a loved one with dementia can often feel isolating – but you’re not alone. A dementia caregiver shares his top three pieces of advice, one caregiver to another.

5 case studies: When is it time for palliative care versus hospice?

Many patients with life-limiting illnesses can receive a palliative care consultation even if they aren’t ready for hospice. Understand how palliative care and hospice are similar yet different.

Teaching from the heart: A conversation with HopeHealth’s educators

HopeHealth’s community educators aren’t just experts in serious illness. They have a personal stake in the courses they teach. Read about three of them, and the education they lead.

What is pediatric hospice care, and how is it different for kids?

When a child is facing serious illness, they need a special approach to care – and their family does too. Pediatric hospice is here to help.

Music therapist eases pain for children in palliative care

A music therapist who can play 30 instruments helps comfort children with life-threatening illnesses through HopeHealth’s palliative care program.

How to be present with a loved one at the end of life

When your loved one is nearing the end of life, here are tips for what to say and do – and how to simply be present with them.

Aphasia takes away language. Speech therapy can help restore it.

Bruce Willis’ diagnosis has raised new questions about aphasia, a communication condition that affects 2 million Americans, most over age 60. HopeHealth’s speech therapist shares answers.

“I feel the same way”: The power of caregiver support groups

Taking care of yourself is the most important thing you can do as a caregiver. Caregiver support groups offer community, understanding and advice from people who’ve been there.

From the ER to home care: A HopeHealth cardiac nurse shares her journey

In honor of Nurses Week, we spotlight Trish Diorio, cardiac nurse specialist for HopeHealth Visiting Nurse. “The whole reason you go into nursing,” says Trish, “is to make a difference.”

With volunteer’s help, hospice patient shares her legacy

Hospice volunteers share their unique gifts and personal touch to make a difference for patients. For Erin Hazlett and 96-year-old Ruth Rotenberg, simple companionship turned into a legacy project.

This can help when a loved one won’t eat or drink at end of life

Here’s what you should know when your loved one no longer wants to eat or drink while receiving hospice care.

Peer debriefing: We now pause to support each other

A new initiative brings HopeHealth clinical care teams together to talk about difficult cases they are encountering and to support each other.

What hospice care can do for advanced cardiac patients

Hospice care helps patients with heart failure avoid trips to the emergency room. Learn how this Medicare-covered benefit helps provide an extra layer of support to improve quality of life for people with advanced cardiac disease.

Sharing love after loss: Widower writes book to help his grandchildren with grief

Guy Marini was inspired by what he learned from participating in a HopeHealth grief support group. So he wrote a children’s book about grief to honor his late wife’s memory and comfort his two grandchildren.

Starting hospice care: What families coping with dementia should know

HopeHealth’s Circle of Love Dementia Care offers specialized care and resources for hospice patients with dementia and their families. Here’s what families should know about how and when a loved one is ready for hospice.

What were the top 5 stories of HopeHealth’s 2021 blog?

HopeHealth recaps its top 5 most popular blog stories of 2021. Topics included family love and empathy, end-of-life spiritual questions, the science of hospice care, pandemic myths and the nursing profession.

5 ways to help your child cope when a loved one has Alzheimer’s or dementia

Children and teens struggle with complex emotions when a loved one has Alzheimer’s or dementia. A HopeHealth grief counselor offers parents guidance for parents to help their children cope.

The healing power of a Barbie Christmas card

A silly holiday card, exchanged between two households for 26 years, has becomes an unlikely source of grief support.

Caring virtually: How telehealth helps home care patients stay safe at home

Home care patients manage chronic conditions, gain peace of mind and avoid hospitalization by learning to measure their own vital signs and check in with telehealth and remote monitoring nurse.

Why it’s never too soon to ask about hospice or palliative care

There’s an ideal time to ask about hospice or palliative care if you or a loved one has a life-limiting illness. Learn when it is and what to look for.

Why kindness counts for home care aides

A certified nursing assistant shares why she loves working in home care as she approaches her 25th anniversary with HopeHealth Community VNA.

How palliative care nurse practitioners help patients and families make informed decisions

What does a palliative care nurse practitioner do? HopeHealth’s team of palliative care consultants help patients and families understand the prognosis and make informed decisions about their care. It all starts with active listening.

Hospice chaplain: How embracing spirituality brings comfort at end of life

A hospice chaplain reveals how he guides end-of-life spiritual discussions and brings comfort to patients and families of all faiths and beliefs.

How physical therapy can help home care patients

Physical therapists and physical therapy assistants who work in home health care help their patients develop strength and endurance. To honor their contributions to improving lives, October is National Physical Therapy Month.

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 in RI and MA

A career in home health nursing is professionally rewarding and personally meaningful. Find your calling at HopeHealth’s home care in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

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.

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