Loneliness is not to be taken lightly.
While everyone feels lonely and socially isolated sometimes, those who live in a persistently lonely state are subject to increased levels of stress and health problems that can be downright deadly. As a hospice organization, we are aware that many of those we serve find themselves increasingly isolated as they suffer from chronic pain or become fulltime caregivers.
Our volunteer services offer “friendly visitors” who visit on a regular basis and establish ongoing relationships with patients and caregivers who have found their social connections shrinking. Support groups for the recently bereaved and for caregivers are another resource that enables those who are lonely to connect with others who are sharing their struggle, pain or loss.
Choosing the best time of day to connect with someone who is ill – when pain and symptoms are more under control – may enable those with illnesses to more comfortably interact with others. Reducing the amount of time, while emphasizing the importance and desire to continue seeing loved ones, can be a better option for visits.
Direct person-to-person connections are invaluable, but some who are lonely find regular connections by texting, Facebook messaging or use of other social forums helps them stay in touch. Online support groups can be validating and offer encouragement from others who have special insights and suggestions for how to overcome isolation.
If you are concerned for someone who appears to be lonely, find a way to include them in your life. Invite them along on an errand or a walk. Include them in gatherings of family or friends. Call to check in on them and express your concern. By reaching out to them, you can expand your own social network and give strength to someone who needs your support.
Loneliness is often a normal part of the grief experience. If you are a grieving person struggling with loneliness, we have grief support options that can help. Hospice of Central Ohio offers bereavement care to anyone living in our service area, regardless of his/her affiliation with our hospice program. All services are free of charge to the community. If you would like to schedule an appointment to speak to a member of our bereavement services team, please contact Maria Johnson at 740.788.1474.
Kudos to Hospice of Central Ohio volunteer Marilyn Dresser (pictured, center) who was recently honored with the Hospice Caregiver Award by Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Service. The awards are designed to recognize hospice caregivers who provide patients and families with wonderful care and compassion.
Those nominating Marilyn for the honor cited her fifteen years of service as a caregiver, her decade of leadership in organizing the annual camp HOCO Kid’s Grief Camp and dedication to the hospice mission. The nomination notes that “Marilyn knows no bounds, demonstrating energy, caring compassion, enthusiasm for every day she is alive. Mentor, guide, friend, companion…she walks her walk every day. Marilyn LIVES the Hospice ofCentral Ohio motto ‘caring for one person every day all the time.’”
We are grateful for Marilyn’s support and value her many contributions to the Hospice of Central Ohio mission.
Congratulations to Hospice of Central Ohio Volunteer Services Coordinator Liz Adamshick who was recently honored as the 2017 Outstanding Caregiver Partner by Schoedinger Funeral & Cremation Services in their annual Hospice Caregiver Award ceremony.
"Liz works tirelessly to gives her volunteers everything they need to be successful working with hospice patients and families," says Julie Olds, Director of Community Relations and Education with Schoedinger. "She believes strongly in continuing growth through educational and learning opportunities not just for her volunteers, but for all staff as well."
Liz worked with Schoedinger in the development of Volunteer Universities, offering inspiring guest speakers and educational break-out sessions for hospice staff, volunteers and the community.
"Liz nourishes the partnership between Hospice of Central Ohio and its business partners in the community," notes Olds. "For these reasons and many more, we recognize Liz Adamshick as this year's Outstanding Caregiving Partner."
Annual award recipients are selected from those who are awarded monthly recognition in the awards program. Hospice of Central Ohio nominees for January 18 recognition include Newark Home Team Leader Sue Grube and social workers Kelly Stansell and Ruth Robson. Also nominated are volunteer coordinator Pam Scanlon and extended hours RN Michelle Roberts.
Liz and these new nominees join an impressive cast of previous Hospice of Central Ohio nominees and recipients of honors in the Schoedinger hospice awards program. The first recipient of the Hospice Caregiver of the Year award was Hospice of Central Ohio social worker Charla Sedziol. Chaplain Mark Pierce has also been honored as Hospice Caregiver of the Month, and nominees have included ICC Team volunteer Kathy McMillen, patient care specialist Vandana Patel, patient companion volunteers Marilyn Dresser and Bernadette Tippie.