Thursday, November 5, 2009

National Hospice Month: Celebrating Love and Care

During November, National Hospice Month, we at Hope reach out to the community to raise awareness about how we can help people coping with life-limiting illness, enabling them to live in comfort and with dignity.

In providing our special care, we know that one of the most important attributes of a good caregiver is listening skills. Attentiveness and effective listening help to determine the quality of care that the patient will receive. At Hope, listening is considered to be an act of love as well as a required skill.

People in need of hospice care may not always realize how their quality of life can be improved, beyond pain and symptom management. They may be reluctant to talk about the “little things” that could make it easier to get around the house, such as a home improvement. Members of our Hope Care Team listen and observe, always in search of answers to the question, “What more can we do to help?”

We meet special needs through our Hopeful Wishes program. When a person in hospice care needs something “extra” to add to their quality of life, we work to fulfill their wish. A woman in our care had been helping her daughter prepare to get married. However, as wedding time drew near, the woman became so ill that she could not leave our hospice house. Her Hope care team fulfilled a wish by arranging a wedding for her daughter in our own chapel. The mother’s bed was brought in, and the daughter was married at bedside in a ceremony led by our chaplain. A local grocery store helped with the wedding and provided the cake. It was a precious moment for everyone, as a Hopeful Wish was fulfilled in a beautiful way.

Some Hopeful Wishes are sweet and simple, such as the aging couple who simply wanted a “date night” at their favorite restaurant. With the help of the restaurant, we made it happen.

Quality of life involves much more than medical care. Emotional and spiritual needs must also be met. The “whole person” must be served. The mission of Hope is to provide exceptional care and support to every individual and their loved ones as they fulfill life’s journey. During National Hospice Month, we celebrate the love and care we provide in support of our mission. We know, and strive to help others understand, that hospice is really about living.

As we observe National Hospice Month, I encourage you to learn more about how we help the people in our community, and how you can help Hope, by visiting our Web site at or by calling Hope at (239) 482-4673 or (800) 835-1673.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hope HealthCare Services Launches New Magazine

Helpful Information, Inspiring Stories to Highlight Local Care and Programs
(Fort Myers, Fla.) – Knowing where to turn when special healthcare services are needed is vitally important to everyone. Now more than ever, people are concerned about solutions for their healthcare needs, today and in the future.
Hope HealthCare Services has created a new magazine, Wings of Hope, offering helpful information and inspiring stories about hospice and other healthcare services to meet local needs as the population grows and changes.

“Because this kind of information is so important, we are offering complimentary subscriptions to everyone,” said Hope President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith. “It will be helpful to the families and loved ones of those who are in life’s final chapter, the frail elderly, seriously ill, and the families of children with a life-changing illness.” Beckwith said the magazine will also be a resource for those who are experiencing grief.

Wings of Hope will be published quarterly. The previous version of the Wings of Hope newsletter had been distributed to donors and supporters for more than 20 years. The premier issue of the new Wings is being released in November, National Hospice Month, a time to raise awareness of the care that Hope provides. The inaugural issue also highlights Hope programs and services for veterans, in honor of Veterans Day.

Wings of Hope magazine will be designed and produced by Times of the Islands, Inc., creators of Times of the Islands, RSW Living, Bonita Living, and Gulf & Main magazines. Publisher Friedrich N. Jaeger, a long time supporter and advocate of Hope HealthCare Services, notes, “We are delighted to partner with the local Hope organization to produce a quality and informative magazine, and are honored to help spread the word about the many worthwhile and important aspects of their services and programs.”

To subscribe to the new Wings of Hope, please call (239) 985-7792, or subscribe online at

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hope Healthcare Services Named Start! Fit Friendly Company

Hope HealthCare Services has been recognized by the American Heart Association’s Start! Fit-Friendly Companies Program for going above and beyond when it comes to employee health. In the Heart Association’s effort to promote physical activity and health in the workplace, Hope is one of three hospice organizations in the country to receive this distinction.

The Start! Fit-Friendly program recognizes progressive leadership and concern for the health of each staff member. Hope has been recognized for meeting the Heart Association’s criteria for employee fitness.

“We feel that we have achieved this honor because we really want the best for our staff, just as we want to provide the best care for everyone in the community,” according to Hope President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith. “The best healthcare can be provided only by a healthy staff. We are encouraging other hospices around the country to set this goal.”

Adult Americans spend most of their waking hours at work. Many of those hours are spent sitting at a desk. This makes them vulnerable to health risks associated with inactive lifestyles. Studies suggest that by starting a worksite physical activity program and promoting a culture of activity, an organization can:

  • Increase productivity
  • Reduce absenteeism
  • Lower turnover
  • Reduce healthcare costs
  • Encourage employees to live longer, healthier lives

Hope’s efforts to promote employee health and fitness include:

  • A walking program, with walking routes at each office location
  • Weekly e-mail messages about nutrition and exercise
  • Yoga classes
  • Discounts at local gyms
  • Healthy snacks in vending machines
  • Staff members are also encouraged to use the stairs rather than the elevator.

Organizations and individuals interested in participating in the Heart Walk or Fit-Friendly program can contact the American Heart Association at (239) 498-9288 or