Helios Care is celebrating and honoring the valuable and heartfelt commitment of our wonderful volunteers during National Volunteer Appreciation Week.
Even when a person is dying, there can be a lot of living to do. Hospice makes it possible by bringing care, compassion, and hope to patients and families facing life-limiting illness. Volunteers are a vital part of this special care: 224 trained volunteers support our local communities during patients’ end-of-life journey and make the mission of Helios Care possible.
Whether a volunteer is serving at the bedside, honoring a veteran, assisting in the office, helping in the thrift shop, or assisting with events, they are the heart of our hospice. We would like to thank all of our volunteers for their unwavering support and generosity. This week and throughout the year, we honor and celebrate our outstanding volunteers.
Helios, Director of Community Outreach
A brisk run on a cold morning is a good way to get ready for Thanksgiving dinner! 477 runners took to the streets for the annual Thanksgiving Day 5K Turkey Trot for Helios Care. Above, Carson Pashley, Austin Hitt, Christopher Mosconi, Noah Artis, Ron Reed, Emma Peeters, Kacie Hymers, Michael Hamilton, Andrew Stanton, Tristan Ethier Matthew Rubin, and Alanmichael Rubin take off from the finish line at the start of the race. At right, Daniel Butterman runs with his daughter Layla to the finish line for a time of 29:30. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
ONEONTA– With new offices, grief counseling, new nurses and early intervention, after just one year at Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care, Dan Ayres is already looking to steer the at-home care provider toward new heights.
“We currently serve roughly 120 patients across Otsego, Delaware and Schoharie counties, but really, we’d like to reach at least 130 to 140 patients,” said Ayres.
Succeeding 25 year president and CEO Lola Rathbone, Ayres took over the position in Jan. 2017. Ayres first order of business was to create one central location for Catskill Area Hospice to operate out of.
Above: Dylan Shaughnessy, Oneonta, brother Tyler, Mary Kilmer, Walton, and Makayla Lambrecht, Walton, take off from the starting line of the annual Turkey Trot 5K near Riverside school this morning. 867 runners participated in the event which raises money for the local area Hospice. At right, some runners like Vasiliki Draponiotis, Gilbertsville, with Katie Lishansky, Oneonta, on left, got in the spirit of the race by wearing turkey-themed headgear. Sean O’connor, Stamford, came in 1st place with a time of 15:23. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
To Learn How You Can Help Area Families This Holiday Season CLICK HERE.
PLANETARIUM – 7-8 p.m. Sky Talk: Leonid Meteor Shower, Fall Galaxies, and video “Wonders of the Universe” SUNY Oneonta Planetarium, 108 Ravine Pkwy., Oneonta. Reservations required. Seats free. Info, oneonta.edu/planetarium/publicshow.asp
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD – 4-7 p.m. Pack a shoebox with items that will bring joy to children as they are delivered around the world. Collection point at Main St. Baptist Church, corner of Main and Maple Sts., Oneonta. Info, @ www.msbchurch.org/occ or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (607)432-5712
ONEONTA – Participants of the 3rd annual Turkey Trot wrote the names of loved ones, inspirational messages and prayers for sick or deceased family and friends on hundreds of biodegradable balloons which were released into the air before the start of the race this morning.
Editor’s Note: Lola Rathbone is president/CEO of the Catskill Area Hospice & Palliative Care.
Thanksgiving is about family, traditions and a time to be thankful for life’s blessings. Hospice, too, is about family, traditions and a time to be thankful for life’s blessings. Thanksgiving comes once a year. Every day we are privileged to offer a wide variety of “Thanksgivings” to our Hospice families.
Personally, one of my most memorable Thanksgivings was my father-in-law’s last Thanksgiving. We traveled to Hagerstown, Pa., just as we traditionally had for many Thanksgivings in the past. My father-in-law, a Hospice patient for eight months, was happy to be “home” to celebrate this special family holiday. He was in his comfy flannel PJs and his well-worn plaid bathrobe. He wanted to get dressed for dinner, so we helped him get – according to his term – “presentable.” If you have a loved in a place like a hospice cleveland facility, you know that they are getting the care they need, as it can be a lot for anyone to look after a relative who needs a higher level of care. Even though there are in a hospice, allowing them to create memories over time is also very important.
He requested his favorite Pennsylvania Dutch holiday treat, “hog maw” (cabbage, potatoes, and sausage stuffed in a pig’s stomach and roasted to a deep golden brown). As awful as this may sound, it truly is delicious and filled the house with a mouthwatering aroma, he loved it! His wish was made possible because he was able to be “at home” because of the excellent care his Hospice Team gave him.
This experience inspires me to remember at all times that our Hospice is here to provide Hospice families with their “Thanksgiving,” regardless of what time of year it is. Our goal is to help patients and families “Feel Better” so they can “Live Better.” This can often result in people living longer than those who do not use Hospice.
Because so many people have caught on to using Hospice much sooner, they not only have the time, they have the “quality of time” needed to benefit from the opportunity of making their “Thanksgivings” possible. In life, we only get one shot at making these beautiful, lifelong memories – it is our privilege and commitment to everyone we serve.
Right now we are helping one of our patients plan a family reunion. His family is coming in from out of town. They will all get together for a wonderful dinner and time-sharing memory and creating new ones. What a blessing!
November is National Hospice Month, but we celebrate Hospice every day through the stories and experiences our Hospice families give to us.
We are here for you, to help you “Feel and Live Better,” and to help make your “Thanksgiving Wishes” come true.