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  • Get to Know Us ·

Fall Motorcycle Ride

  Thank you to our wonderful volunteers who took one of our patients on a beautiful, fall motorcycle ride! As one of the volunteers put it, “I feel blessed to be able to serve & make someone’s day a bit brighter!” Well, they definitely made this patient’s day brighter. Thank you to our volunteers and all you do!
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  • Grief ·

It’s Okay to Feel Shocked

The death of a loved one is a hard reality to grasp. Often, it can feel like a bad dream that you just can’t wake up from. Although you may know that your loved one is very sick or in the process of dying, the unavoidability of dying always feels sudden, unforeseen and unbelievable. It’s shocking. It is important to recognize that shock is a natural part of the grieving process and can occur many times before the loss fully settles in. Although it doesn’t feel normal, it’s your body’s way of handling painful experiences. Given time, the shock will…
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  • Caregivers ·

Keeping Dignity | Caregiver Tips

Your loved one can no longer do the many tasks they once could. They now depend on you for many of these things. The easiest solution may be to simply take over and make decision, but it’s important to be respectful of your loved ones. As a caregiver, you want to protect your loved one’s dignity and sense of self-worth. Put yourself in their shoes. Imagine if your independence had slipped away. You can no longer drive, walk, or get out of bed. These once simple tasks now require help from someone else. How would this make you feel? You…
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  • Get to Know Us ·

Our Bereavement Services

Grieving for loved ones who are experiencing a life-limiting illness is natural for families and friends. This process can often begin before death occurs. Hospice of the Midwest Bereavement Services are available for those who are coping with losing a loved one. Our staff is committed to working closely with families who are working through the grieving process. Our services include: One-on-one support Print materials Supportive phone calls In-home support sessions Our support is available to families for up to 13 months following the loss of a loved one. We also host monthly support group sessions at our Hospice of…
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  • Get to Know Us ·

The Calming Presence of Pet Therapy

“Carol LOVES cats!” Community Liaison for Hospice of the Midwest, Nick Blees stated as he asked if we had a therapy cat and volunteer to visit Carol. Volunteer Lynnette had just the right cat, Noodle, to visit with Carol in her last weeks of life. Lynnette sat nearby as Carol would pet noodle, over and over again. Nick said, “I had learned of Carol’s love for cats and that she had to give hers up when she moved into the memory care unit. When I heard this, I reached out and was immediately able to find the perfect cat to…
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  • Get to Know Us ·

All My Life’s a Circle | Hospice of the Midwest Music Therapy

Music therapy is an important part of what Hospice of the Midwest has to offer our patients. Our Music Therapist, Crystal Berkenes, provides services that help with pain management and end-of-life support. Crystal utilizes music and instrumentation to reach non-musical goals, increase self-expression and decrease anxiety or restlessness. Collaborating with team members who work with the patients daily, Crystal can create a music therapy plan that is tailored to what the patients connect to. When one patient mentioned to Crystal his fond memories of sitting around a campfire while singing songs and making music with guitars and spoons, she had…
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  • Education & Resources ·

Life-Limiting Illnesses – When to Call Hospice

A life-limiting illness is an incurable chronic disease or condition that no longer respond to curative treatments. Examples of a life-limiting illness include: Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia Stroke ALS Parkinson’s Disease Heart Disease Pulmonary Disease Liver Disease End-stage Renal Disease AIDS Cancer A life limiting illness, coupled with symptoms below, could be indicators of decline and hospice eligibility: Frequent hospitalizations, ER visits, or visits to the physician within the last six months Progressive weight loss (with consideration to weight gain factors such as edema, when applicable) Decreasing appetite Dysphagia or difficulty swallowing Increased weakness or fatigue Decline in cognitive status…
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  • Grief ·

The Grief Survival Kit

Let yourself grieve. It’s important to let yourself take this roller coaster ride and feel your emotions rather than suppress them. No matter how hard you try to bury those feelings of grief, they will continue to resurface, and you won’t be able to truly move on. Start the healing process by giving into grief. Lean on friends and family. Your friends and family expect you to be upset. While they may not always know the right things to do or say, they do want to be there for you even if it’s just to listen or offer affection. Never…
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  • Grief ·

Journaling Through the Grief

Journaling while grieving can help you document and process the feelings of grief you are experiencing. As you begin the healing process and reconnecting with who you once were, you may start thinking about or telling yourself things you would want to record. Putting these thoughts and feelings into words can be very beneficial and help in better working through the grief. This is why it is a great idea to keep a grief journal. There are many, different ways you can start to fill up your journal. From creative writing and poetry to journaling and writing letters to your…
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  • Get to Know Us ·

Work with Hospice of the Midwest – A Personal Testimony

“I just wanted to stop and take a moment and tell you all how wonderful everyone at Hospice of the Midwest has been. The communication between your team and ours has been amazing! Your staff  keeps our team very well updated and they feel like you listen to their concerns. The staff has reported they have called “after hours” or on the weekend and have received pleasant and prompt service. It means so much to us to be able to rely on you guys for our residents’ needs knowing they will be met. There have been many occasions when our…
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  • Education & Resources ·

Checking Off Bucket List Items

At Hospice of the Midwest, we take the question, “What’s on this person’s bucket list?” quite seriously. When asked by our Medical Director, Dr. John Hamerly at an Interdisciplinary Group meeting, we looked to the next deserving hospice patient, Ellie. Ellie was an avid horse back rider all her life and best friend Trish (for 60+ years) was her companion on trail riding, camping, attending rodeos, and enjoying the great outdoors. Her bucket list item was something easy to accomplish; to see and pet a horse! A phone call was made to Becky and Linda, who volunteer with River Valley…
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  • Get to Know Us ·

Choose Hospice of the Midwest – A Personal Testimony

“This whole journey started for me and my mother, who has Alzheimer’s, while we were staying at the hospital. There were quite a few residents on her floor who were using Hospice of the Midwest, so they were always getting to know other patients on the floor and being friendly as they passed by. When we decided we wanted hospice, it was good for my mother because she was familiar with them. I was also at ease because of their familiarity and having seen Hospice of the Midwest working with other families on the same floor. I knew I was…