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Buzzy’s Burgers Marks 200th Wish

Posted by | Posted in Foundation, Home Services, Sharing Wishes Fund | Posted on 30-06-2016

200th-Hospice-Wish-BuzzyIf you ask Helen “Buzzy” Burris what one of her final wishes would be, the fun-loving mother will reply with a smirk, “Tall, dark and handsome.”

Her response reveals some of the spirited banter she shares with the people in her life. Even upon entering hospice care, she has maintained her same fun-loving character and unbridled sense of humor.

Buzzy is the recipient of the Sharing Wishes Fund’s 200th wish. The fund, managed by the Memorial Medical Center Foundation, grants the wishes of hospice patients throughout central Illinois. Read the rest of this entry »

Spiritual Care in Hospice

Posted by | Posted in Home Services, Taylorville | Posted on 16-06-2016

Physical comfort is often the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of hospice care. However, Memorial Hospice comprises a team of care providers across disciplines, including spiritual, to help patients and their families navigate their difficult situation and to care for the patient as a whole person.

“We try to join the patient and family in the moment, empathizing with whatever feelings they are experiencing,” said Jan Costello, spiritual outreach coordinator at Memorial Home Services Hospice. “Chaplains are really there to be that listening post. To provide a presence, and to not only listen, but help them connect the dots.”

In the past two years, Memorial Home Services has expanded the Hospice spiritual care team to include multiple chaplains who serve patients throughout central Illinois. Chaplains visit patients at home and can also serve as liaisons with community clergy members. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Life Lessons Learned from Hospice Patients

Posted by | Posted in Foundation, Home Services, Sharing Wishes Fund | Posted on 01-04-2016

Young-Woman-with-Elderly-WomanEach day spent caring for people who are living their last moments or taking their last breaths might seem like a difficult job. But for Memorial Home Hospice caregivers, the rewards are countless. When the end of life is near, the unimportant falls away and a reminder of what it means to really live rises to the top.

“As a nurse, I have the privilege of assisting families and patients at the most vulnerable times in their lives,” said Maureen Tarrant, a Memorial Hospice nurse. “The bonds you forge with families last a long, long time.”

This privilege teaches our hospice providers valuable life lessons. Here are ten of those lessons they are reminded of in their daily work. Read the rest of this entry »

Hospice Wishes Create Lasting Memories

Posted by | Posted in Events, Foundation, Home Services, Memorial Medical Center, Sharing Wishes Fund | Posted on 25-03-2015

Hospice-PatientAn Elvis fan wishing to visit Graceland.

A 63-year-old man wishing for a laptop to complete his family tree.

A mother and grandmother wishing to have a pizza party for more than 30 relatives.

An avid car lover wishing to ride around Lake Springfield in a Cadillac.

Thanks to Memorial’s Sharing Wishes Fund, administered through the Memorial Medical Center Foundation, all these wishes came true for hospice patients looking to fulfill life-long dreams. Since its inception in 2012, the fund has granted more than 125 wishes for hospice patients and their families across central Illinois. Read the rest of this entry »

The 5 Most Memorable ‘Sharing Wishes’ Wishes – So Far

Posted by | Posted in Foundation, Home Services, Sharing Wishes Fund | Posted on 24-02-2015

Balloon-Ride-WishSince its establishment in 2012, the Sharing Wishes Fund has made a significant impact in the lives of many hospice patients and families in central Illinois.

Whether it is a special family-and-friends gathering or a visit from a distant loved one, the wishes Sharing Wishes that help  providing a meaningful touch to the hospice experience for those who benefit. As we near the granting of the 125th wish, we look back on some of the most memorable wishes so far.

Carol’s final wish takes her soaring ‘like an eagle’

On a warm summer evening, with a sky as blue and clear as it comes, Carol Cray set off in a hot-air balloon to fulfill a longtime dream.

“I’ve always wanted to glide and soar like an eagle,” she said as she watched the colorful balloon inflate on its takeoff spot — an empty plat of grass near the Wal-Mart in Lincoln. Read the rest of this entry »

Get a Leg Up on Swollen and Achy Legs, Feet and Ankles

Posted by | Posted in Home Services | Posted on 03-10-2014

?????????You get home from work. You drop your bag and finally sit down on the couch after having been on your feet all day. To rest feels good, but your legs do not. They are aching and your feet look swollen.

Does this sound familiar?

Many jobs in the workplace require a fair amount of standing throughout the day. Standing on a regular basis can leave the legs and feet fatigued. But a special pair of socks may offer some relief. Read the rest of this entry »

Snoring: Serious or Merely Annoying?

Posted by | Posted in Home Services, Memorial Medical Center, Sleep Center | Posted on 01-07-2014

Man Snoring“Laugh and the world laughs with you; snore and you sleep alone,” said British novelist Anthony Burgess, who may or may not have been speaking from experience.

Lori Valentine, RN, respiratory therapist and director of Memorial’s Home Services Durable Medical Equipment, explains that snoring is caused by a collapse of the upper airway, which can happen because of excess tissue in the upper neck area or a loosening of muscle in the neck area that causes an obstruction. Read the rest of this entry »

To Hospice Patients, Granting a Simple Wish Can Bring Great Joy

Posted by | Posted in Foundation, Home Services, Sharing Wishes Fund | Posted on 19-03-2014

Sharing-Wishes-FundWiley Moore had a simple wish – to go to Red Lobster for dinner. Unfortunately, Wiley was bedbound because of stage 4 cancer that had spread to his spine and brain. Leaving his home was not possible.

But, thanks to the Sharing Wishes Fund, he did get to enjoy a meal from Red Lobster earlier this year when a member of Memorial Home Services’ hospice team delivered it to his bedside

“He was really, really happy with it,” said Linda Moore, Wiley’s wife. “He just couldn’t get over that they brought Red Lobster to him and he was able to have that good food. He was like a little kid.” Read the rest of this entry »

Could Hospice Volunteering Be Right for You?

Posted by | Posted in Home Services | Posted on 14-08-2013

78458252Ask Rachel Grunder what she finds most rewarding about her volunteer work with hospice, she’ll tell you it’s “simply the relationships.”  

“Each one is unique, this is true.  But, at the same time, each one seems to be threaded with appreciation and gratitude.  I have volunteered for many different organizations over the years.  Hospice patients and their families show so much gratitude for the time I spend with them, no matter the task,” she notes.

Each day, volunteers like Rachel give of their time in many different ways, whether it’s simply sitting with patients, reading with patients or even helping with light yard and house work.  Regardless of the task, volunteers play an integral role in the hospice care journey.

Individuals often have many questions when deciding if volunteer work is right for them.  We asked some current Memorial Hospice volunteers the most frequently asked questions regarding their volunteer work, and here’s what they said: Read the rest of this entry »

Sharing Wishes Grants Hospice Patient’s Wish for a “Girls’ Day Out”

Posted by | Posted in Foundation, Home Services, Sharing Wishes Fund | Posted on 01-08-2013

Sharing Wishes Lincoln MuseumGirls just want to have fun, and Dorothy Ferrara is no exception.

Dorothy, a patient of Memorial Home Services Hospice, had mentioned to several staff members that she wanted to visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. When Kelsi Dobson, medical social worker, visited with her, Dorothy made a minor addition to her already humble request: she wanted a steak and a margarita.

Dobson worked with the Sharing Wishes fund, a program through the Memorial Medical Center Foundation that grants the wishes of hospice patients in central Illinois, to grant Dorothy’s wish and then some—giving her a day she’d never forget.

Dorothy spent the days leading up to her “girls’ day out” marking off dates on the calendar until that special day arrived. On July 11, Angie Clifton, hospice home health aide, arrived early to curl Dorothy’s hair, do her makeup and help dress her in new clothes, bought especially for this occasion.

Little did Dorothy know she’d be riding in style.

A limousine pulled up to whisk away the guest of honor, along with Clifton and June Asbury, a dietary staff member at Oak Terrace—two friends who have become like “family” to her. Not only would this be Dorothy’s first time in a limo, but it was also the first time she would be leaving Oak Terrace in five years.

The first stop was Chili’s, where Dorothy dined on her long-awaited steak and margarita. After lunch, the trio went to the museum.

After her big day out, Dorothy was tired, but happy.

“It was a terrific day,” she said. “The nicest thing I have ever been able to do.”

Since then, Dorothy’s visits with Dobson have been spent talking about how great that day was, and how grateful she is to Sharing Wishes for the opportunity.

For more information on the Sharing Wishes Fund, or to make a donation, visit