Jessica Golden, director of Hospice of Homer.

Jessica Golden, director of Hospice of Homer.

Connection is the starting point for hospice services

Above my desk, is a quote by the writer Kurt Vonnegut; “The most daring thing you can do with your life is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.”

The quote is there as a reminder to me that compassionate communities do not happen by accident. They are built with intention.

It’s a reminder that loneliness aggravates every difficulty an individual can experience, and that the cure for loneliness is connection.

It’s a reminder that connection is the starting point for every service Hospice of Homer provides.

Connection says, “I hear you. I care about you. I will help you.”

Connection is what happens when you turn compassion into action.

Recently, Mayor Pro Tem Donna Aderhold issued a proclamation declaring November to be National Hospice and Palliative Care Month in Homer. Hospice of Homer is grateful to the City of Homer for their support in drawing attention to the vital services we provide.

We’re kicking off the month with our annual fundraiser, Preparing for the Holidays, a live and silent auction, wine and dinner gala on Nov. 10 at Wasabi’s. This is our major fundraising event of the year, and we appreciate all the volunteers, businesses, and donors who help make it possible.

Throughout November, patrons of the Homer Bookstore can support Hospice of Homer by selecting a title from our Wish List to purchase and donate to our resource library. This library is open to the public and contains books and movies (for both children and adults) related to dementia, cancer, caregiving, and grief.

The holiday season can be a particularly difficult time for those who have lost loved ones. In recognition of this, we invite the community to join us Friday, Nov. 30 at WKFL Park at 6:30 p.m. for our Circle of Light, where we will gather to share stories and prayers of remembrance.

As a non-medical hospice, Hospice of Homer is a unique organization. For almost 35 years, we have assisted and supported families coping with end-of-life issues. But we also provide care and resources for members of the community who are ill and isolated, to improve quality of life regardless of diagnosis.

We work closely with Home Health, South Peninsula Hospital, and other local organizations to provide integrated services for our clients.

Our main services are loaning medical equipment, such as hospital beds, walkers, and shower chairs; grief and bereavement support for any member of the community who has suffered a loss, including weekly and monthly support groups; and in-home, direct care provided by trained volunteers in the client’s home, assisted living facility, or hospital room.

Our volunteers provide respite to caregivers, assist with shopping, transport clients to appointments or outings, prepare meals, and provide connection to the community.

All of Hospice of Homer’s services are offered completely free of charge.

In fact, one of the greatest testaments of Hospice of Homer’s role in the community is that about 75% of our operations are funded by donations from individuals and businesses. We are also grateful to the City of Homer for the allocation of grant funds in support of our services.

We look forward to celebrating connection and compassion during National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, and we invite the Homer community to join with us in recognizing the important work that hospices do.

For more information about Hospice of Homer’s services, call 235-6899 or visit www.HospcieOfHomer.org.

Jessica Golden is the Hospice of Homer Director.

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