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Read Facebook testimonials about Ames Family Hospice House in Westlake, Ohio.

Read more Facebook testimonials about Hospice of the Western Reserve.

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May 2017 (from our families)

Sometimes, members of our own staff have loved ones in our care. This letter was written by an employee whose mother had ALS. Palliative care was initially provided through our pre-hospice Western Reserve Navigator program. When her mother’s illness advanced, she transitioned into Hospice of the Western Reserve's care.

"To each and every one of you who were involved in my Mom gaining her wings, I want to extend our heartfelt 'thank you.' You have shown me why I work for Hospice of the Western Reserve. As I write this, I can truly say this is how it is supposed to be. I know you each went above and beyond. We could be difficult at times, but you all just listened. You treated us as if we were your own family members. As our Mom called it, she was “ready to go.” You each did more than you had to do. Mom loved you all so much to the point we weren’t allowed to visit on Monday afternoon for any reason because it was her spa day with 'the hospice girls.' You allowed me to be her daughter but also allowed me to be the nurse in some ways, but not too much. You each impacted us in your own way. Your love, compassion and even tears with us helped. You helped my Dad, too. Your Hospice Nursing Assistants are awesome and cannot be replaced. I cherish those girls because my Mom loved their dances and conversations, which got her through the days of being trapped in her own body. She got her wings and I was able to dress her and put her makeup on. I was able to take my Dad to her to say goodbye after she passed. To each of you, thank you."

March 5, 2012 (submitted via website)

“I just want to say thank you on behalf of my brother, sister and myself for being there, for taking part when my mother, Lucy, died January of 2010 and my dad in December of 2011. My dad was on hospice for 4 days and we did not spend much time together with you but the times we did talk were helpful. You gave assurance to some of us that what we were doing was OK. Watching my dad go to the hospital, decline and be put on hospice then pass away with all of us present was like it was all a dream. Every step of the way I was shocked and sad at what I was seeing. I couldn’t believe these were my parents. Having hospice with us was comforting. We were lucky in that my siblings and I were all there for my parents, but we weren’t on the same page at times. Having someone we could trust from the outside and assure us that the decisions we were making were OK was a huge help. I will never forget your help. You are forever a part of my life. Hospice of the Western Reserve is such a vital part of our community. Thank You.”

February 27, 2012 (via The Plain Dealer)

Rising singer, guitarist and songwriter, Antoine Dunn, was interviewed by The Plain Dealer. Find out what he said when asked his ideal place to be photographed here.

January 25, 2010 (submitted via website)

I have been a volunteer for Hospice of the Western Reserve for over five years, and in those five years, I have found that sitting vigil not only comforts the patient, but also the absent family, the nursing home staff and, of course, myself as I always get back so much more than I can give. (Full Story)

December 1, 2009 (submitted via website)

I am a Spiritual Care Coordinator for Hospice of the Western Reserve. Last week, when I arrived at a facility to find a patient sitting in a common area, alone waiting for Coffee Break. When I called her name and touched her hand she awoke with a warm smile and greeting. Although she was wearing oxygen and experiencing shortness of breath, she very vigorously engaged me in conversation. We laughed heartily and shared stories and soon the coffee arrived.

She had some problems with memory, and didn’t really remember what had taken place the day before, but she was able to say how much she missed her family and how she experiences loneliness much of the time. She talked about taking the days in stride though, and working at not feeling sorry for herself. She said, “Just before I dozed off, I was beginning to sit and start feeling sorry for myself and then you came along and now we’re having a wonderful time.”

In that moment as we laughed and shared the time it takes to have a cup of coffee with one another, we agreed how quickly our perspective can change in a moment, how quickly we can influence someone else’s perspective of their situation, by simply taking a moment to share a positive word, a smile, a listening ear, or a gentle touch.

November 30, 2009 (submitted via website)

In 2003, my 12 year old daughter was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. We were told there was no treatment available for her type of tumor. I felt overwhelmed and scared. I did not know how I was going to meet my daughter’s care needs as well as help her two brothers cope with the effects of this difficult life event.

A friend recommended we call hospice. We met with a nurse from the pediatric team. As I sat listening to the services the team could provide I immediately felt a sense of relief. I felt as if they knew exactly what our family needed. The pediatric team helped me meet my daughter’s care needs, spent time with my sons and my daughter, helping them to find appropriate means of expressing their emotions, and assisted our family with legacy and life review activities. The pediatric team helped our family survive the loss of our loved one and gave my daughter dignity and peace at a time when it seemed impossible.

November 30, 2009 — A Lifetime of Stories

For a patient with a lifetime full of anecdotes, telling the story is what it’s all about. (Full Story)

November 27, 2009 — Families Come Together to Help Another

He struggled with his wife’s illness, so other hospice families help him cope with loss (Full Story)

November 26, 2009 — Thankful for Comfort, Peace and Care

We are thankful for the patients and families we care for each day, and for the team members who provide the care. (Full Story)

November 25, 2009 — The Power of Music

Music resonates and touches a pediatric patient and allows her to bond with her music therapist. (Full Story)

November 24, 2009 — Information Systems Provides Extra Support

An Information Systems team member dedicates his Friday afternoon to help a hospice patient login and stay connected to family and friends at the end of life. (Full Story)

November 23, 2009 — Eagle Scout Adopts Renaissance Project

After his Grandma received end-of-life comfort in hospice, an Eagle Scout gives back with his final project. (Full Story)

November 20, 2009 — Life’s Simple Pleasures

A patient and his children are comforted by life’s simple pleasures – beer, pretzels and a dog by his side. (Full Story)

November 19, 2009 — Hospice Team Shoots … and Scores!

Hospice care goes beyond the patient – our hospice team makes a special play for patient’s granddaughter. (Full Story)

November 18, 2009 — Redefining Hope with Hospice

A family finds hope when hospice assists them after their infant twins are diagnosed with a serious illness. (Full Story)

November 17, 2009 — A Delicious Taste of Home

A hospice volunteer brings a patient comfort with a taste of home during his final days. (Full Story)

November 16, 2009 — The Sweet Smell of Memories Past

A hospice social worker searches high and low for a special flower that pleases a patient and sparks precious memories. (Full Story)

November 13, 2009 — 18 Blue Jeans

A young man in hospice care knows he will not live to see his unborn child grow up, so team members help him leave a legacy through letters and denim. (Full Story)

November 12, 2009 — Honor in Life, Honor in Death

One patient finds peace after his hospice team gets him the medal he earned fighting for our nation. (Full Story)

November 11, 2009 — Veterans serving Veterans

A long-time volunteer finds camaraderie and his passion by helping other veterans at the end of life. (Full Story)

November 10, 2009 — One Hero to Another

A veteran volunteer brings peace to a patient by honoring his service to our country. (Full Story)

November 9, 2009 — Music for the heart of Hospice

For many, music speaks directly to the soul. Volunteers like Buzz bring joy, peace and fun to Hospice House. (Full Story)

November 6, 2009 — A Birthday Celebration

Hospice staff and volunteers plan a birthday party to celebrate the life of a very special three-month-old baby receiving hospice services. (Full Story)

November 5, 2009 — A Little Nail Polish Goes a Long Way

Girl time goes a long way for a patient facing the end of life who relies on a hospice volunteer for her weekly pampering and pick-me-up. (Full Story)

November 4, 2009 — A Teen’s Year-Long Experience at Hospice House

Volunteers of all ages make a difference for our patients and their families. One teen volunteer tells her story of how hospice enriched her life. (Full Story)

November 3, 2009 — A Dream Fulfilled

He hadn’t seen his daughters or grandchildren in 18 years. Thanks to his spiritual care coordinator, one patient took the trip of his dreams. (Full Story)

November 2, 2009 — Going Above and Beyond

When an injury meant his wife had to have surgery and spend time in the hospital, Hospice of the Western Reserve staff made sure they were together as he drew his final breaths. (Full Story)

“My dad, Stephen, passed away Saturday, July 18th at Manor Care after spending the prior week at Hillcrest Hospital with a trauma concussion that ended his life at 96. Your organization provided our family a level of care, support, compassion and guidance throughout this ordeal that was simply outstanding. You all have a very difficult job and we want you to know how very much your care and support meant to our family.”

— Sincerely, Steve Kandrac and family (submitted via website)

“You guys were awesome. I can’t even begin to thank you for the incredible care you gave to Renee. Your work will never be forgotten. Everyone that I met, whether at the hospital, Renee’s home or at her funeral, had an incredible soul. Thank you for making things a little easier. All of us will never forget Renee. Just think of her laugh and you will smile. She will always be here with us in spirit. Her love for all of us will never cease to be.”

–With true thanks and a warm heart….Lisa Elbert Pulver (submitted via website)

“I am a patient at Hospice House. As I lie in bed I am helped by many wonderful people. Numerous volunteers have brightened my days. As I see the joy that they give and receive, I have feelings of regret. I lived down the street from a nursing home and I never thought about giving of my time and going there to bring a smile to a lonely person’s face. I realize that I can not go back and do the volunteering that I wish I had done but what I can do is prevent you from feeling regret at the end of your days. I will feel that I made a difference if I am able to convince others to give even one hour a week in volunteering. You can be a hospice volunteer or a visitor to a nursing home or a tutor in a school or whatever suits your talents. I want people to know that there are so many good people doing good things. Be one of them! I hope if you are not currently volunteering that you will consider it. My hope is that when you look back on your life you will have the joy of having given freely in your heart.”

–From a patient at Hospice House (Read this story in the patient’s own handwriting)

“Everyone from Hospice was extraordinary and they became part of our family. They laughed with us and cried with us. Their kindness and love they showed Renee was truly unbelievable. They taught us how to say good-by to her, how to care for her, and they prepared us for her final breath.

I cannot thank all of you for your support and mostly for your love. Renee was truly surrounded by many many angels in her last days. Every single one of you will remain in my heart and in my memory forever.”

–Love to all, Mary Ann Giovannazzo (submitted via website)

“I want to thank hospice for all the care and understanding and help that you gave to us and my mother during her last few weeks of life.You made it possible for my mom to have her wishes filled. My mom was a wonderful person with a kind and loving heart, everyone she came in contact with she gave them a reason to smile. My mom was a very sick woman and came to live with me and my husband 6 months before she passed away. I was able to care for mom with the help from hospice. They made sure my mom had everything she needed and was in no pain. My mom had a bad heart and had copd and her kidneys were going bad. Her wishes were to be able to go at home in a peace and caring place. I was able to call anytime nite or day and a nurse would come and see mom no matter what. It made it somewhat easier for me and my family to be able to handle it all. I just want to say god bless you all at hospice and thank you so very much.”

–Maureen McNeil

“It was rather scary to make the decision to call in Hospice, and realizing the end was actually near. But after meeting and working with the Hospice staff, the family and I were more comfortable with the choice…in a very short period of time, I saw my mother finally at ease and not in pain for the first time in several years. Her passing was peaceful and she is no longer suffering.”

–William J. Groff

“None of the hospice personnel ever rushed through their visits. They treated the patient and family with respect and dignity.”

–From a daughter

“I can’t say how wonderful the care and services you provided was and what it meant to me and my family to be at home.”

–From a patient

“I never realized all that hospice has to offer to families in our situation.”

–From a daughter