Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Over a Decade of Sewing for Hope: Homemade Quilts Designed with Love

Hope has been fortunate to receive donations from the Sandoval Quilt Club, with assistance from additional members of the Cape Coral Quilters Club, for more than 12 years. Each year in March, the Club invites Hope and at least ten other agencies to the blessing of the quilts that they have made. These beautiful donations are used for to keep our patients warm at Hospice House Cape Coral.

About 4 years ago, Mary Lou O’Phelan started creating Christmas quilts for Hope. The first year she made about 10 or so by herself. Since then she has created a subcommittee within the group, to help create even more items for those in need at Hope. At the subcommittee’s recent holiday luncheon at Sandoval, Nina Tomasello picked up 100 Christmas quilts! Some of the quilts were used for children in our Hope Kids Care program - along with special Christmas pillow cases and stockings, which are new this year.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Twelve Days of Hope: Ways to Support Our Mission during the Holidays!

  1. Donate to the Tree of Lights. You’ll receive a personalized ornament with the name of your loved one. Give online, call (239) 482-4673 or visit the front desk of any Hope Hospice House for assistance. Our twinkling trees may be viewed through January 1, 2016.

  2. Make Purchases through Amazon Smile. When you shop through this portal, Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchase back to Hope Hospice. There is no cost to you to participate. Every dollar counts!

  3. Donate to our PayPal Giving Fund during December – we’ll get 101% of your donation. Your gift helps provide compassionate care for individuals with physical, emotional and practical challenges.

  4. Send a Christmas card to someone in Hope’s care. Many of these individuals live alone in facilities, and they would truly appreciate knowing that someone is thinking of them during the holidays. A simple message may bring a smile to someone in need. Please mail your cards to Smiles for Hope, 9470 HealthPark Circle, Fort Myers FL 33908 before December 21, 2015.

  5. Donate to the Hope Chest Resale Stores. Your gently used clothing, home goods, and furniture can be donated in support Hope’s mission. Proceeds from our store s are incredibly important to our financial success. You can drop off items to our North Fort Myers or Bonita Springs location. We also offer free furniture pick-up; call (239) 652-1114 to schedule.

  6. Help grieving children through our programs, including Rainbow Trails bereavement camp. Our weekend camp is provided free of charge to all in need, thanks to generous community support. Your gift will give these brave young hearts the age-appropriate counseling they need to cope with grief and loss.

  7. Provide a dedication stone, bench or tree in our Tribute Gardens. Items can be engraved with a personal message of your choice and placed at your preferred Hope Hospice House. Hope’s beautiful outdoor spaces provide a calming, quiet atmosphere of reflection for all of our visitors. All dedication items  become a permanent parts of the Hope Tribute Gardens.

  8. Give the perfect present for the cook in your life. Check out our new cookbook, “Bouquet of Hope” featuring all new recipes and hundreds of pages of mouth-watering ideas. Cookbooks are available online or at the front desk of each Hospice House for $25 each.

  9. Support Hope’s VALOR program for veterans. Your gift helps the veterans in our receive the specialized care they deserve – including an Honor Guard recognition ceremony, customized certificate of appreciation, lapel pin and patriotic quilt. Every dollar is invaluable to our mission and honors our nation's heroes.

  10. Give your time – become a Hope volunteer.  Volunteers may choose to help with making phone calls, baking cookies, visiting patients, creating scrapbooks, sewing quilts, running errands, filing paperwork and hundreds of other tasks. All volunteers complete an orientation class and receive ongoing support from our volunteer department.

  11. Sponsor a Special Event. Your business or organization can benefit from these exceptional marketing opportunities. We’ll promote your brand in invitations, event programs and e-blasts. A portion of your sponsorship will be tax-deductible, and your donation will benefit your friends and neighbors here in southwest Florida. Call (239) 489-9164 for available sponsorship options.

  12. Let someone know about the Hope Parkinson Program. Do you have a friend, neighbor, coworker or loved one who is facing the challenge of Parkinson's disease? Have them join our free program for exercise classes, support groups, educational opportunities and socialization. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Eight Things You Need to Know About Hope Hospice (Before You Need Hope Hospice)

As part of National Hospice and Palliative Care Month in November, Hope Hospice is committed to providing community education about hospice care so that you and your loved ones have all the information you need – even before you need us.

  1. Hospice is a program of comprehensive care and services that brings the patient and family the medical, emotional and spiritual support they need during life’s final journey.
  2. Hospice care is about adding quality to each individual’s life for as long as possible.
  3. Hope’s palliative care programs ensure comfort and dignity and prevent needless suffering.
  4. Hope Hospice is committed to providing quality care and support to patients in private residences, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or in one of our four Hope Hospice houses.
  5. Eligibility for hospice benefits often begins sooner than you think and is typically available much longer than you might expect.
  6. Hope Hospice cares for every individual facing a life-limiting illness, regardless of age, illness or ability to pay – nobody is denied our care.
  7. Hope Hospice offers grief and bereavement services to family members – including programs specifically for children.
  8. Hope Hospice serves people of all backgrounds, traditions and religions, and allows them to be with their families while receiving care. Emotional and spiritual support are tailored for each individual’s personal needs.
Hospice can enhance patients’ quality of life and ease the transition for their loved ones. Remember to speak with your doctor about the options for hospice as soon as a life-limiting diagnosis is made.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Food Distribution for Seniors in Hendry and Glades

Hope Connections, the Harry Chapin Food Bank and the United Way coordinated another successful food distribution for hundreds of seniors in Hendry and Glades counties. Through the Senior Food Box program, they can receive this important assistance.

The community volunteers and staff members truly enjoyed giving out the food bags, especially this close to the Thanksgiving holiday, and were humbled as the recipients expressed their gratitude.

With generous community support, volunteers were also able to distribute extra goods, including nutritious foods like milk, fresh fruits and veggies.

These pictures were taken at the Hope Connections center in LaBelle; additional distributions were made in Clewiston and Moorehaven.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Samira K. Beckwith published in American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine

To ensure that people across all cultures and communities benefit from hospice care, Hope HealthCare Services President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith, MSW, LCSW, FACHE, LHD, has published an article in the November issue of the American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine with co-author Dona J. Reese, PhD, MSW, LCSW.                                

The article, “Organizational Barriers to Cultural Competence in Hospice,” was based on results from a national mixed-method study with directors of 207 hospices. The study was undertaken to identify major barriers to cultural competence, seek input on strategies to address those barriers, and make progress toward increasing access and utilization of hospice for diverse cultural groups.

“Across cultures, patients and their families approach the end of their journey in unique ways,” said Beckwith. “Hope’s professionals are experts in reaching out and sharing spiritual and emotional support to ease that journey. The comfort and care Hope Hospice provides connects all communities.”

Annual Sanctuary Tennis Tournament Benefits Hope

The Sanctuary's Christie Bradley, Director of
Tennis and Fitness with Craig Wolf

With Tennis Guru Nick Bollettieri

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

We Honor Veterans


Honor Guard Volunteers
Ralph Boettger - Jay Burgess - Ralph Camp - Ken Clark - Jerry Conway - Kurt Daume - Tom Donnelly - Jim Edwards - Michael Einhorn - Dave Fetters - Mike Freedman - Raymond Gauthier -Dave Grossi - John Hicks - Yale Kanter - Joe Kauanui - Richard Klish - Terry LaBarge - Bob LaChance - Jim Lehman - John Mitchell - John Panko - Dick Phillips - Nick Piccoli - George Pickel - Frank Powers - Darrell Ramsden - Bill Riccio - Jeff Rockhey - Mariette Roy-Franco - Joe Ryan - Tom Sudol - Bill Warner - Al Wolstenholme

Hope VALOR Program Donors
Lanfah Braswell - Kenneth Brister - Dan Bullock & Barb Ladwig - Cape Royal Community Foundation Inc. - Michael Copper - Phyllis Cranston - John Davis - B.G. & Rosana Hutchison - Tom & Ruth Iversen - Elena Johnson - Marcia Jones - Don Lindsey - Barbara Monti - Inez Patten - Carol S. Preble - SWFL College Rotaract, Inc. - David Van Leuven

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Day of Learning in LaBelle: Friday, November 20

Join us for an afternoon of informative, educational and inspirational presentations:
  • Hope Connections Manager Kristina Rodriquez will present an overview of Hope’s programs and volunteer opportunities in the LaBelle community.
  • Jonathan Scalone, MA, DMin., retired Lt. Col. U.S. Air Force, will lead a discussion about veterans and the causes, recognition and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder in Delayed Onset PTSD: The Legacy of War.
  • Certified Alzheimer Educator Patty Sullivan, RN, will present Understanding Alzheimer’s, including information about early warning signs and caregiver support.
Each presentation will be followed by a Q&A session. Refreshments will be served. There is no cost to attend, however seating is limited and reservations are recommended. Please call 863-675-1576.

Friday, November 20 from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Hope Connections
475 East Cowboy Way
LaBelle, FL

Thursday, November 5, 2015

VALOR to receive three-year matching grant totaling $192,000

Hope has been named the recipient of a three-year matching grant totaling $192,000 to support its VALOR program from the AmeriCorps Legacy Corps for Veterans and Military Families, in collaboration with the University of Maryland Department of Health Services.

“We’re extremely appreciative of both the grant and our partnership with the AmeriCorps Legacy Corps,” said Samira K. Beckwith, president and CEO of Hope HealthCare Services. “Through all of Hope’s programs, including the VALOR program, we are able to ensure our servicemen and servicewomen receive the loving care and support they deserve. It is our privilege to honor their dedication to our country as they fulfill life’s journey.”

Hope collaborates with the Veterans Administration to help make arrangements for replacement medals, military funeral honors, burials in a VA national cemetery, and donations of artifacts to historical societies and museums. VALOR also provides emotional support through chaplains and counselors familiar with veterans’ issues, including post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and other symptoms caused by combat or wartime experiences.

Through the AmeriCorps Legacy Corps program, Hope will recruit additional Honor Guard volunteers to provide respite care, disseminate veteran service information, create peer-to-peer networks for veterans, provide transportation for veterans and caregivers, and provide caregiver support.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Discounts at Evelyn & Arthur in honor of National Hospice Month

Visit the Evelyn & Arthur store in the Promenade from November 2 - 21, and donate your gently used items to receive a special discount on your in-store purchase. Clothing will be donated to our newest resale store, Hope Chest at The Crossings in Bonita Springs.

Evelyn & Arthur is located in the Promenade at Bonita Bay, 26811 S. Bay Drive, Suite 124.

Thanks to the Evelyn & Arthur store for helping us celebrate National Hospice Month once again!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Testimonial from Hope's Grief Support Group

I am pleased to send along a small token of the gratitude I feel for the services you provide to members of the community who are experiencing grief for a lost loved one.

I was very pleased to find that I was eligible to attend bereavement counseling - at no charge! As soon as humanly possible, I went to Mary Lisa Grimmer's group on Wednesday mornings.

I told the group yesterday morning that these meetings are the highlight of my week - not because I don't have other things to keep me occupied, but because that hour and a half (which flies by) provides me with an opportunity to share in the experiences of others who are in the same boat. By contributing my thoughts and tactics, I get the feeling that I'm helping them; I know that they're helping me.

The reason that the group is so helpful is that Mary Lisa has an incredible talent for guiding the discussion into its most productive areas. She repeats the rules each week for the benefit of old hands and new arrivals alike. (I have never witnessed anyone breaking one of her simple, but essential, rules.) Then, she encourages (but does not compel) each of us to contribute, which most all of us do. She moderates the discussion in such a way that all of us get a chance to speak, and nobody dominates the discussion. Finally, she nearly always has an insightful and helpful comment to append to each person's contribution.

I've been in the Navy and in the business community for over 35 years, and I've attended hundreds of meetings; none of all those moderators could hope to hold a candle to Mary Lisa when it comes to professionalism and/or excellence.

Whatever you pay her isn't nearly enough. With that in mind, despite the fact that the service is free, I intend to be a supporter of Hope Hospice for as long as I'm able to do so.
-David B.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Facing Parkinson’s with a Fighting Spirit

Dominic Pittro moped for about three days after he received his Parkinson’s diagnosis.

“Then I made up my mind that I was going to fight it,” he said. “That’s my makeup. I’ll fight anything. I’m not going to give in.”

Dominic credits his training in the U.S. Marine Corps for giving him the determination to persevere. After his diagnosis in 2012, he and his wife Ann looked for local resources.

Dominic started taking water aerobics classes at the Cape Wellness Center and purchased equipment to perform the same exercises in his pool at home. He later connected with Michelle Martin and the Hope Parkinson Program, learning about their support groups, educational events, social opportunities, and exercise classes.

Dr. Amanda Avila, the medical director for the Parkinson Program, spoke at the first Hope Parkinson Symposium he attended. After her lecture, Dominic asked her a question about the remarks and was surprised when she took time to answer him.

“A lot of other doctors will just push you off  - ‘Are you questioning what I do?’ I won’t go to a doctor with that attitude,” he said. “Dr. Avila will sit down, take the time and explain things to you. She helped me through it. I’ve got one of the best doctors there is in Parkinson’s.”

Dominic took the knowledge he gained from Dr. Avila and put it into practice by attending the program’s exercise classes. The 77-year-old now dedicates at least an hour, sometimes two, to exercising every day.

“If you allow it, you’ll fall apart, but today, I’m feeling great,” he said. “I do nothing but exercise, exercise, exercise.”

Since taking the Tai Chi for Better Balance Program, Dominic is now registered to become a certified Tai Chi instructor. Tai Chi helps improve balance, and the techniques complement his previous experience studying martial arts in the Marine Corps.

“Everybody’s amazed with the way I’m coming along,” he said. “Now I’m trying to help other people.”

Dominic also attends a PD exercise class that strengthens muscles by using Therabands, balance exercises, and lots of sit-to-stand exercises. He plans to teach the class soon. Being chosen as a volunteer instructor helped lift Dominic s spirits.

“I felt great because they thought enough of me to ask me,” he said.

Dominic practices other smart steps to keep the symptoms of Parkinson’s at bay. He follows a gluten-free diet and does not eat carbs or meat (beyond the occasional bite of his wife’s steak). He has lost weight and remains strong.

“I don’t eat half of what I used to and what I do eat is healthy,” he said.

He keeps active around the house, by making a garden for his wife and even pulling weeds. Occasionally his arm still shakes when he gets frustrated, but he tries to have a positive attitude.

“Some days are worse than others. Some days you don’t feel like getting out of bed, but you do. There are a lot of people out there that say, ‘Pity me.’ You can’t pity you,” he said. “You’ve got to keep yourself moving, and you’ve got to keep your mind on fighting it.”

Dominic actively participates in a monthly Parkinson support group, encouraging other individuals with the disease. He’s happy to help, even by simply talking to people about the physical and emotional challenges they are facing with Parkinson’s disease. He encourages others to take time for the exercise classes and education opportunities.

“Get into these classes, see what we’re doing, and if you’ve got it, let’s try to beat it together,” Dominic said. “We have each other. We take good care of anybody that’s in worse shape than we are. I’d help anybody that needed help with it.”

As a veteran, he would like see more former service members participate in classes through the Parkinson Program.

“I’d like to see if I could help more. I don’t have the money Michael J. Fox has got, so I’ve just got to help with what Hope can do,” he said, laughing.

Humor also helps him remain optimistic, even on difficult days.

“With the help of the gym and Hope, I’m going to beat it; I have beat it,” he said. “If it wasn’t for good people, a lot of us wouldn’t make it. Hope has got a good program!”

Dominic Pittro’s 10 Keys to Tackling Parkinson’s
Great Medical Care
Healthy Eating
Strong Will
Hopeful Spirit

Monday, September 7, 2015

Tai Chi Classes offered by Hope Parkinson Program

Millions of older adults fall each year, suffering serious injuries such as hip fractures and head trauma. These debilitating events often result in a loss of independence and a cascade of related health problems. During Falls Prevention Month this September, Hope encourages all individuals at risk of falling to join us for an important series of classes to improve your balance.

Tai Chi is a graceful form of exercise with simple, continuous movements performed in a slow, focused manner accompanied by deep breathing. Research has shown that with regular practice, Tai Chi improves functional balance and reduces the risk of falling. For those with Parkinson’s disease, Tai Chi can improve gait, walking ability and lower body muscle strength.

We welcome everyone over 60 years of age who would like to work on their balance to attend the upcoming Tai Chi Open Practices. We are also offering EZ Seated Tai Chi for participants in the Hope Parkinson Program with limited mobility. This version of the class combines the benefits of traditional Tai Chi with the safety of seated chair movements.

Tai Chi Open Practice
Cape Coral
Mondays at 3:00 p.m.

Fort Myers (HealthPark)
Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m.

EZ Seated Tai Chi
Registration Required
Fort Myers (HealthPark)
6 Week Series: October 14 - November 18
Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m.

Call (239) 985-7727 or email Michelle.Martin@HopeHCS.org.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Hope's Bereavement Department: Crisis Counseling

Our bereavement department recently assisted with a tragic suicide in Hendry County. Shortly after law enforcement responded to the 911 call, they contacted Hope for our expertise in crisis counseling.

A Hope bereavement counselor went directly to the home of the parents and sibling of the suicide victim. She spent time with each family member, supporting them through basic decision-making, referring them to helpful community resources and providing emotional support. As other friends and loved ones arrived to the home, our bereavement counselor was able to offer assistance with their initial grief work.

The next day, we went to the local middle school and high school, taking an active lead in communicating with the students and offering crisis management. We returned later for additional follow-up and provided individual counseling as needed.

 Hope’s bereavement counselors are on call 24 hours a day; they are able to respond to all crises in the southwest Florida community. Throughout the year, we work closely with local sheriff’s departments, victim advocates and school guidance counselors; however, anyone can make a referral for crisis counseling. Please call our main line at (239) 482-4673 or toll-free (800) 835-1673 for help.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Hope Hospice selected to participate in the Medicare Care Choices Model

Model aims to increase choice and quality by enabling individuals to receive hospice and curative care concurrently

Hope Hospice has been selected to participate in the Medicare Care Choices Model, announced by Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. The model provides Medicare beneficiaries who qualify for coverage under the Medicare Hospice Benefit the option to receive comforting hospice care while still receiving curative services. This model is part of a larger HHS effort to deliver cost-efficient, patient-centered care.

Hope Hospice was selected as one of 140 Medicare-certified hospices to take part in the five-year program expected to care for as many as 150,000 eligible participants. The new model offers care similar to Hope’s current palliative care program – providing support for seriously ill individuals such as those with advanced cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure.

“We are proud to be part of this initiative because it reinforces our belief that everyone should receive the best care possible. Comfort is essential at every stage of illness,” said Hope HealthCare Services President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith. “Participating in this model allows Hope to provide physical, emotional and spiritual support as soon as it is needed.”

Monday, August 10, 2015

Clewiston Field Trip for Hope Connections

Our friends at Hope Connections enjoyed a one-of-a-kind 'Lunch and Learn' field trip on Thursday, August 6.

The City of Clewiston provided free transportation and the Clewiston Museum and Chamber of Commerce gave free history lessons and tours. Everyone also enjoyed the delicious, discounted lunch provided by the Tiki Restaurant.

It was an exciting day full of first experiences and explorations. We are very grateful to the local businesses and organizations who made this event possible!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Food Distribution for Low Income Seniors in Hendry, Glades

Yesterday was the first day of distribution of the Commodity Supplemental Food Program in Hendry and Glades counties.

Through the combined partnerships of Harry Chapin Food Bank, United Way and Hope Connections (via staff and volunteers) the agencies were able to provide over 200 low income seniors in LaBelle, Clewiston and Moore Haven with nutritionally sound foods.

We're proud to “Live United” while “Fighting Hunger and Feeding Hope” in rural America!

Caregiver of the Year Award

Do you know someone who deserves to be recognized for outstanding caregiving?

A winner will be chosen and honored at the Stop & Smell the Roses event this November. To enter, you'll submit an essay describing how your nominee demonstrates courage, sacrifice, strength, and creativity in overcoming the stresses and obstacles associated with caregiving.

Instructions and application at: http://bit.ly/1h5rd19

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Hope Connections unites with Harry Chapin and United Way to address senior hunger

Hope Connections is partnering with the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida and United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties to feed seniors in Hendry and Glades.

Residents who are at least 60 and have a household income that meets federal poverty levels can enroll in the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, which will provide a monthly box of canned fruits and vegetables, juice, dry beans, rice, peanut butter, cereal and other food from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Hope Connections Senior Centers will serve as sign-up locations for the initial enrollment period. Public open enrollment events are scheduled for the following times at Hope Connections locations:

  • Monday, July 13 from 9 a.m. to noon at 1200 South W.C. Owens Ave., Clewiston
  • Monday, July 13 from 1 to 4 p.m. at 101 Florida Ave. NW, Moore Haven
  • Wednesday, July 15 from 10 a.m to 1 p.m. at 475 East Cowboy Way, LaBelle

The United Way House also will accept applications Monday through Wednesday through July 15 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 133 North Bridge Street, LaBelle.

“Throughout Glades and Hendry counties, so many seniors are going hungry. Working together, Hope Connections and Harry Chapin Food Bank will serve as a safety net for all who need our help,” said Samira K. Beckwith, president and CEO of Hope HealthCare Services. “Requests to join our Connections program grow exponentially with each passing year and we depend on key partnerships with other organizations, as well as donations, to meet the increasing need.”

Monday, July 6, 2015

Hope Hospice receives $25,000 from Greenbrier Classic golfer George McNeill’s hole-in-one

Fort Myers resident and PGA golfer George McNeill aced the par-3 18th in the first round at The Greenbrier Classic today, winning $25,000 to donate to his charity of choice. McNeill didn’t hesitate: his choice was Hope Hospice.

McNeill’s sister, Michelle, passed away in the Cape Hope Hospice House almost exactly a year ago, while her little brother shot his lowest score ever – a 61 – at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

Today, McNeill scored his second hole-in-one The Greenbrier in the space of one year. McNeill’s mother Dottie called Hope to share the news.

“We are truly grateful for George’s most generous acknowledgement of the care we provided for his sister,” said Samira K. Beckwith, president and CEO of Hope HealthCare Services. “It is our privilege to provide comfort and care when it is needed most.”

See more in Naples Daily News

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Remembering Hope Volunteer Joyce Johnson

Joyce Johnson, the epitome of a dedicated volunteer, passed away on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 in a car accident in North Fort Myers while on her way to a morning shift as a cashier at Hope Chest.

Joyce began her service to Hope in June 2004. She came into the store (and our lives) as a smartly dressed meticulously groomed 75 year-old lady who positively impacted the lives of everyone who met her. Never a hair out of place, her usual array of 5 pairs of earrings at one time, her multiple gold chains around her neck - Joyce’s appearance hid well her down to earth sense of humor and love of food – especially all things chocolate, preferably with salt. Her Hope Chest co-workers became like a second family to Joyce, and they marveled at her ability to eat a multi-layered burger on a bun without leaving a crumb. No to-go box for Joyce. If it was on the plate when served, it was meant to be eaten!

Joyce’s love for her family was immeasurable. Her son, Corky, and granddaughter, Rhianna, whom she helped to raise and who called her Mom, live locally and played prominent roles in her daily life. Her daughter Lauren lives elsewhere and visited often. Lauren was enlisted many times to come to work with her Mom when she was here visiting – Joyce’s work ethic would not allow her to miss her scheduled shift if she could find a way not to. Her granddaughter was also recruited by Joyce and, for a time, was an active volunteer with Hope Chest. Corky was “on call” to come when his Mom needed him – especially if she locked her keys in the car – with the motor still running.

Joyce reminisced often about her time with the love of her life, her deceased husband, Charles. She spoke of their travels together while Charles was employed as a Corporate Officer of a major nationwide business. She proudly showed the diamond necklace she always wore and explained the significance of it in hers’and Charles’ life together.

Despite coping with a major health issue in the past few years, Joyce never faltered in her dedication and commitment to Hope Chest. As she went through a long recovery period and was absent from the store for months, she still made time to stay in touch with her good friends there, and they with her. She refused offers of help from them, instead wanting to “tough it out” on her own. And she did!

Joyce came back to us at Hope Chest, appetite as robust as ever, working as many shifts as she could possibly manage, with the same bright smile and cheerful greeting to all each time she took her position behind the cash register. In a recent conversation with her bagger assistant on a Thursday afternoon, Joyce wondered aloud about “what happens to who I am when I die – I know what will happen to my body, but what about who I am?"

The response to that would have been - "Who you are, Joyce, lives on in those you have nurtured and loved – the essence of you, never dies."

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Terraces at Bonita Springs Agreement with Hope Hospice to Provide Additional Options for Region

The Terraces at Bonita Springs, a southwest Florida senior living community, announced a partnership with Hope Hospice that will provide additional space to offer care and comfort to those who need end-of-life palliative care. The partnership grew from an opportunity that arose following the opening of the Renaissance health center at The Terraces two summers ago.

“Due to the seasonal nature of health and wellness, we saw an opportunity in the fact that some of the beds in our health center weren’t always full,” said Ross Dickmann, Executive Director of The Terraces at Bonita Springs. “We already had a strong relationship with Hope Hospice dating back to the opening of Renaissance in 2013, so it made good sense to build on that.”

The agreement means that Hope Hospice will be able to use additional space at The Terraces to continue their mission of providing exceptional care and emotional support to those about to fulfill life’s final journey.

“We’re pleased to be able to help keep the promise of what Hope Hospice already does,” said Dickmann. “Being in the field of senior living, we already had an understanding of what end-of-life care is about, with all the emotions that go along with it for everyone involved. Being able to offer additional space to our partners at Hope Hospice just made sense, and the idea was born from there.”

The agreement was finalized at the end of May, following meetings between Dickmann, Hope Hospice President and CEO Samira Beckwith, and other leaders from both organizations.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Harvey-Engelhardt Funeral Home Donation to Rainbow Trails

Pictured are Harvey Engelhardt staff Tim Hauck, Renee Duncan, Jack Covert and Rachel Schad,
along with Hope's Bob Sheehan and Matthews Children's foundation representative Curtis Elliot.
Hope is grateful to the Harvey-Engelhardt Funeral Home in Fort Myers, who applied for and received a $1,000 grant through the Matthews Children’s Foundation to present to the Hope Hospice’s Rainbow Trails Camp Program. Donations help us keep the camp free of charge for all campers. Learn more at www.HopeHCS.org/rainbowtrailscamp.

Cypress Woods Volunteers Donate over 25,000 Items for Hope in 15 Years

Over a decade ago, a special group of five ladies got together to ‘pay it forward.’ All five had been touched by hospice, and they felt it was their calling to give back. Lois Braden, the team coordinator, worked with Hope to identify our highest priority sewing needs - comfort items, for our patients. They started on a small scale, using donated materials, but have since expanded. Now many more Cypress Woods community members are involved, and a steady supply of generous donations keep the group going strong.

After all these years, Lois continues to coordinate and direct the sewers’ activities. During season, they gather each week at their community center to cut, iron, stitch, and create a variety of helpful items. For the sewers who work from home, Lois arranges a rendezvous for material drop off and pick up. As the season comes to a close and most of the sewers head north, Lois bids them farewell with packages of materials to keep them busy during the summer months. These sewing snow birds continue working, with Lois’ materials and instructions, then send their finished products back to Florida.

These men and women, who give so graciously of their time, talents, and supplies, strive to leave this world a better place. Hope salutes these true heroes and heroines who bring peace and joy to those they serve.

Beckwith appointed to Florida Center for Nursing board of directors

Samira K. Beckwith, president and CEO of Hope HealthCare Services, has been appointed to serve on the Florida Center for Nursing board of directors. Beckwith has been named to the board for a three-year term that begins July 1.

The Florida Center for Nursing is a state workforce center established by Florida statute to recommend solutions to address Florida’s nursing shortage. By collecting, analyzing and reporting on the nursing workforce, the center seeks to ensure an adequate supply of direct care providers for the health of all Floridians.

“Serving on the Florida Center for Nursing board provides the opportunity to help shape strategies and develop programs to address healthcare industry issues as the demand for qualified nursing care increases,” said Beckwith. “At Hope, nurses are an integral part of our team, and they demonstrate a professional and compassionate commitment to improving the quality of life for all persons in our care.”

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

New Location for Hope PACE in Cape Coral

Cape Coral’s older residents now have a new care center available where they can go to receive services designed to help them stay healthy, active and socially connected - and to remain in their own homes rather than requiring nursing home care.

Hope HealthCare Services opened its Hope PACE Care Center last week in Cape Coral at 1333 Santa Barbara Blvd., Building A.

Designed to meet the needs of seniors while also helping their families and caregivers, PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) provides comprehensive, coordinated health care services, dental services, therapies, transportation and meals for those who would otherwise qualify for placement in a nursing home.

Through PACE, opportunities for socialization and care are available both at the PACE Care Centers and in the individual’s home. In additional to meeting healthcare needs, PACE offers help with personal care and light housekeeping.

Hope opened the new Cape Coral PACE Care Center to meet the increasing needs of the community’s older population and their families. Forty-two participants already are registered at the new location. Hope’s PACE program currently serves 220 seniors at its care centers in Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, Naples and Port Charlotte.

Hope’s main goal when implementing the PACE program in 2008 was to help seniors continue to live independently in their own homes, according to Samira K. Beckwith, president and CEO of Hope HealthCare Services and the founding president of the Florida PACE Association.

“The challenges of aging or coping with chronic illness can make it difficult to stay at home,” said Beckwith. “PACE helps bring all health care services together to ensure these individuals are getting the attention they need to remain healthy and independent. For working adults with parents who need care and attention, the PACE program provides peace of mind that their loved ones are being cared for in a safe and supportive environment that meets their physical, emotional and social needs.”

For those 55 and older, the program provides participants with all health care services, including primary and specialized medical care; medications; medical supplies and equipment; lab and diagnostic services; occupational, speech and physical therapy; all necessary prescription drugs; home care and personal care aides; and hospitalization, skilled nursing facility care and end-of-life care.

To qualify, participants must have a health care diagnosis that qualifies them for nursing home care, live in Lee, Collier or Charlotte counties, and agree to allow the professionals at Hope HealthCare Services to manage their medical care. There is no fee for those with Medicaid; those with Medicare or other insurance can request a cost estimate.

For more information, visit www.hopepace.org or call 239-482-4673.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Samira K. Beckwith addresses National Summit on Advanced Illness Care in Washington

Samira K. Beckwith, president and CEO of Hope HealthCare Services, addressed the 2015 National Summit on Advanced Illness Care: Driving Change through Leadership, Evidence and Action in Washington, D.C.

Beckwith served on a panel titled, “The Continuum of Care,” where she shared Hope HealthCare as a model for providing exceptional care and support to individuals and their loved ones as they fulfill life’s journey.

The two-day summit was convened by the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC) to provide an opportunity for innovators in policy, as well as nationally recognized healthcare providers, faith leaders, patients and family members from across the nation, to discuss implementing proven models of care.

One of C-TAC’s primary goals is to ensure that people have access to high quality, person- and family-centered care.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Parkinson Tai Chi Class

To learn more about the Hope Parkinson Program, please visit our website at hopeparkinson.org. There is no cost to join, and we have special events and educational opportunities throughout the year.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

When Mom is Gone: 7 Ways to Observe Mother’s Day

1. Get the Help You Need

No matter how long it’s been since you've lost your mom, you may need support. Even if you aren't normally comfortable talking about your feelings, it’s important to share when you’re grieving the death of someone close to you. Connecting to others can be the first step to healing. Talk to a trusted friend, a member of your faith community, or speak to a professional grief counselor by calling (239) 482-4673.

2. Buy Flowers

Find an arrangement of flowers that your mother would have enjoyed. Consider putting beautiful blooms in a place of special significance – or, bring them to a local nursing home or hospice house to brighten the day of someone who wouldn't otherwise get a Mother's Day gift.

3. Celebrate with Old Photos

Dust off the old photo albums to find pictures of your mom looking her best. If you find a special one that you'd like to display, take it to a photo shop to be enhanced and enlarged before having it reprinted. Pick a beautiful frame, and then place it in a spot of honor in your home.

4. Get Cooking

Did your mom have any favorite foods? Did she leave behind any unique recipes? Get out your apron, and whip up a dish that your mom would have enjoyed. Invite a friend to enjoy the meal with you, and share memories together.

5. Be Creative

Think back to the activities your mom enjoyed the most. Maybe it was going to the beach, watching a movie or even completing a crossword puzzle. Find a way to incorporate something she loved into your Mother's Day activities. It can be as simple as listening to her favorite song! Or, simply take time to remember a few of her favorite things by writing in a notebook or journal.

6. Reach Out

Do you know others who've lost their own mother? If you know a family member, a dear friend or a neighbor who have experienced a similar loss, send a greeting card to let them know you care. Taking time to help others can lift your spirits on an otherwise difficult day.

7. Give Back

Make Mother's Day an occasion to honor and memorialize your mother by making a charitable contribution in her name. Consider choosing a charity she would have liked to support. Make a bigger impact by asking siblings or grandchildren to join your efforts. At Hope Hospice, items like stones, benches and tree markers can be engraved with a personal message and be permanently placed in the Tribute Gardens. No matter which charitable effort you support, take comfort in realizing the gift made in your mother’s memory will help make the world she left behind a better place.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Magnolia Landing raises more than $11,000 for Hope

Residents of the Magnolia Landing community in North Fort Myers recently hosted a dinner, dance and silent auction fundraiser to benefit Hope HealthCare Services. The group raised $11,465, including proceeds from an auction and mulligan sales from the end-of-season scramble at the Magnolia Landing Golf Club.

Aaron Sustad and Christina Southwick

Bill Streeter, Sue Streeter, Tim Hoffmann, Karen Hoffmann

Chris and Carrie Morgan

James Oyster, Betty Oyster, Bea Zazzaro, Art Zazzaro

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Hope Kids Care video

Watch Hope's President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith explain the many elements of Hope Kids Care in this touching, emotional video:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Shop at Amazon Smile to Donate to Hope Hospice

Shop Now for Hope at Amazon Smile!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Encourage a Friend to Join Hope Parkinson this April

Fun and fellowship with friends and acquaintances can add so much joy to our everyday lives. This may be especially true for those with Parkinson’s disease and their care partners. When a person realizes that their life has changed, it is natural to seek out others in the same circumstances for encouragement and enlightenment. These relationships can become vital to one’s emotional health and well-being.

Facilitating these relationships and interpersonal activities is a special aspect of the Hope Parkinson Program. Help is available through our support groups, social and creative activities, and exercise classes - even laughter yoga! For those with Parkinson’s disease, the emotional support we offer is as important as our support through physical activities.

It’s important to use the month of April to reach out to friends, family members, co-workers, and people in your community to connect them with the Hope Parkinson Program.

If you know someone who might benefit from the Hope Parkinson Program, please invite them to join us! There is no cost to register and becoming a participant is easier than ever. Encourage everyone coping with a movement disorder to:

Visit www.HopeParkinson.org/Join, or call Michelle Martin at 985-7727 to register by phone.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Volunteer Spotlight: Cape Coral’s Musical Group

Since Hope Hospice House Cape Coral opened in 2002, Music Therapist Ariel Vissepo has been leading a group of volunteers to sing and entertain throughout the building. Although the group’s membership evolved over the years, the size remains about the same - between 8-10 people. There are currently 9 who regularly participate:

Joyce Beecroft • Phil Butdorf • Don Glovich
Marlene Glovich • Mary Jo Helfenstein • Bob Henderson
Frances Jarman • Judy Sheldon • Dale Ward

These volunteers, blessed with many musical talents, give their time to inspire others. Every Thursday, they join together to go room to room. The sounds of their voices and guitars lift the spirits of everyone who hears them. It’s likely that the group has played for thousands of individuals over the past decade.

Ariel says, “The artistic talents of the singing volunteers in Cape Coral benefit our patients and families in unique and direct ways -- they truly stand out as exceptional hospice volunteers. It didn’t take long for the staff at Hope Hospice House Cape Coral to see the many benefits this group brings. It’s an essential part of our compassionate care. They’ve always been excited and fully supportive of our Thursday sessions.”

Friday, March 13, 2015

Kelly Greens Golf and Tennis Classic raises $40,000 for Hope Hospice

Kelly Greens Golf & Country Club hosted its 14th annual Golf and Tennis Classic to benefit Hope Hospice. Together, 140 golfers and tennis players raised $40,000, including proceeds from both silent and live auctions held during the evening’s banquet.

Frank Phillips, Merril Pyes 
Larry Enright, Allen Nasif

Lynn Larsen, Larry & Roxanne Enright, Kathy & Mike Catalano

Steve Mansfield, Red & Ram Crandall

Sue & Peter Loal
Rich Sherwood, John Beresticki