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December 17, 2018

A Gift of Immeasurable Worth

Congregants of Etz Chaim, Thank you for inviting me here today. I consider this a special honor to be here among you. It is especially fitting that my time with you falls within the celebration of Hanukkah because, while Hanukkah means many things, it has also come to be a holiday of gift giving. And I am here to discuss a very special gift. I want each of you to think back to a time when you received a very special gift. Maybe you were a child and a loved one knew just the toy you wanted. Maybe you were older but you were blown away by the givers knowledge of the very thing you wanted, the very thing that you desired and held meaning especially for you. Receiving such a gift is simply magnificent. Opening a wish granted is purely magical. My challenge this holiday season, for my tween age and teenage sons, is finding anything that is really meaningful for them. More and more materialism has become the hallmark of this season and yet, across religions, the purpose of the gifts in remembrance of the message of the holiday can become lost. What if I told you, in this box, I have a gift of immeasurable worth? A gift that will provide relief, satisfaction and deeply affirm love. And at the risk of sounding like a QVC hand model offering a special on which you MUST ACT NOW, what if I told you this gift, this amazing gift, […]
March 7, 2018

Hospice is for families too…

Jenny Buckley, RN, BSN, CHPN spoke at Weinstein Hospice’s Annual Memorial Service that was help on Sunday February 25, 2018. What follows are her remarks that she made at the service. Hello. My name is Jenny Buckley and I am one of the Weinstein Hospice team members. Many of you may have met me on your first exposure to Weinstein and let me say with sincerity that I am so grateful for the trust you shared with me by going forward with our program. I am humbled to be among you again today. In my many years of hospice experience, I have, admittedly, developed some phrases I am guilty of repeating often. If I was the nurse that came to see you first, I may have, in fact, said these things to you. For example, I often say, it is never anyone’s best day when I show up. I get that. Even though I know the tremendous gifts hospice care can provide to patients and families, I understand that it is only with a heavy heart that one contemplates the need for hospice care. I am also guilty of repeatedly saying that while I have a bag of tricks that can treat a myriad of symptoms, there is no quick fix for the inherent sadness in this process. I get that, too. In those first meetings, I understand that a lot of what I might say won’t penetrate and that words fail in such moments of import. But words… words […]
April 27, 2017
This is an article written by Jenny Buckley, RN, our Community Outreach Coordinator. Jenny writes an insightful blog, HOPEspot. We are cross-posting with her permission. I’ll always be passionate about promoting awareness for hospice. Often times, when a “celebrity” or well known public figure dies, I’m always curious if hospice was involved. The last most notable example that I can recall was Elizabeth Edwards, as she succumbed to her battle against breast cancer. In death, as in life, Ms. Edwards took her unfair blows with grace and dignity and chose to have her life end at home surrounded by family. I wish the collective “we” talked more about her choice for that than about the poor choices her ex-husband made prior to her death. As I’ve said many times, I often have the privilege of being the first one called to talk to patients and families about the benefit of hospice. Some are receptive, many are not. Today, I really wish I had the opportunity to speak with former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara. I adore and admire this couple and would like them to have the opportunity to consider hospice. And I’d like to share with you the importance of this “imaginary” conversation, regardless of your politics- please. I’d like you to pay attention because former President Bush’s situation may turn out to be similar to someone you love. George Herbert Walker Bush was the 41st President of the United States of America. Prior to his […]
August 23, 2016

To Recertify or Not Recertify?

To recertify or not recertify? That is often the painful question hospice interdisciplinary teams (IDTs) must answer. For me, it is important for those outside of the industry to understand the challenge of the recertification discussion and the diligence and care with which the Weinstein Hospice IDT takes to answer the question. To be clear, when a patient is admitted to hospice, the referring physician signs an order stating that if the patient’s illness takes its usual course, the patient is likely to “expire” in six months or less. This verbiage comes directly from the language in the legislation that made hospice part of the Medicare benefit. I spend a good part of everyday explaining to patients and families that the six month “term” is just a guideline and not a hard and fast rule. It is a guideline. More specifically, and what many people don’t understand is that within the first six months and beyond, hospices are required to demonstrate the need for recertifying the patient at set intervals: the first 90 days after admission, the second 90 days, and then every 60 days thereafter. To recertify a hospice patient, the hospice IDT must be able to answer the following three questions with concrete evidence: does the patient still have the terminal diagnosis under which he or she was admitted? Is the patient seeking any curative or aggressive treatment for said illness? AND, has the patient demonstrated any form of decline since the last certification period? It’s in that last question that a committed IDT […]