The Other Side of Hospice: A Journey Through Grief

If she could, Heidi VanSledright “would sing Faith Hospice’s praises from the mountaintops.”Both of her parents entered hospice in early 2021, and Heidi witnessed the amazing amount of love and compassion that the Faith Hospice team put into their care. After their passing, Heidi realized she needed some continued support and turned to our bereavement team for help. Learn more about Heidi’s experience with Faith Hospice’s bereavement services.

Staff Spotlight: Amber Powell Runs the Boston Marathon

Our staff do truly incredible work serving our patients and their loved ones each day—we call them “champions” for a reason! We’re no strangers to their strength and resilience, and we love seeing them accomplish their goals outside of work. Faith Hospice RN Case Manager Amber Powell checked one off her list by running the Boston Marathon this year. She shares her experience with us in this blog.

A Letter to Faith Hospice

The following post contains a letter from a family whose wife and mother was under our care for seven months. It truly captures the spirit of Faith Hospice and our mission to provide compassionate hospice care. With the family’s permission, we are blessed to be able to share their experience with the hope that this helps deepen your understanding of hospice care and the true joy and comfort that it can bring to those we serve and their loved ones.

Faith Hospice Hosts FREE Nursing Continuing Development Activity

Faith Hospice will be hosting a FREE nursing continuing development activity where nurses can hear Dr. Patrick Fitzgibbon, Medical Director at Faith Hospice, speak on the topic of Basic and Advanced Pain Management. The event will take place at the new Van Andel Center for Hope and Healing in the Community Gathering Room on Friday, January 26, 8:30am - 10:30am. Nurses will receive two free contact hours by attending the event and submitting an evaluation form. Click the link below to register today!

Faith Hospice Hosts Grand Opening for New Grief Support Center

Faith Hospice’s Van Andel Hope & Healing Pavilion hosted their grand opening yesterday, officially welcoming staff and community to the new space. Located in the previously unused lower level of their Trillium Woods building in Byron Center, the pavilion will allow for expanded bereavement services as well as important hospice education and staff collaboration and respite.

Trillium Institute Executive Director Wins “Top Doctors” Award

Grand Rapids Magazine has named their “Top Doctors” for 2023, and Dr. John Mulder has made the list for the fifth year in a row. This peer-voted award recognizes doctors for their excellency in their respective fields. Dr. Mulder serves as Chief Medical Consultant for Hospice and Palliative Care at Faith Hospice and Executive Director of Trillium Institute.

Faith Hospice Opens Van Andel Hope and Healing Pavilion

Beyond providing high-quality hospice care for patients, Faith Hospice also supports their patients’ loved ones through grief counseling. To increase its capacity to provide bereavement services, Faith Hospice has built out the lower level of its Trillium Woods building. With generous support from donors and the community, the Van Andel Hope & Healing Pavilion is ready to welcome people and further the organization’s mission to serve.

Podcast: Latest Episode

In this episode, Faith Hospice Bereavement Manager Janet Jaymin teams up with WOOD-TV8 Meteorologist Terri DeBoer to discuss the topic of grief. As they do in their book, Grieving Well, the duo dives into the cycles and process of grieving.

The Role of a Loved One

Whether you have recently been given the news that a loved one should seek hospice care or they have already begun the process, you might be asking yourself, “What now?” By becoming more informed of what lies ahead, you can be better prepared to support your loved one through their end-of-life journey.

Burden Bears: A Project Comes Full Circle

When Joyce Hamm came to Trillium Woods to receive hospice care, she, like many Faith Hospice patients, was given a Burden Bear. These handmade stuffed bears aim to comfort hospice patients or their family members during the end-of-life journey and afterward. But, little did our staff know that when they gave that bear to Joyce, they were placing it in the hands of the woman who started the project many years ago.

13 on Your Side Interview

Navigating all of the decisions that must be made as a loved one nears end-of-life can be difficult. Listen to Director of Operations, Benjamin Jacobs on @13 On Your Side as he describes the physical, emotional and spiritual care the Faith Hospice team provides to both patients and their loved ones.

 Wellness at the End of Life

There are always ways that we can look to improve the quality of our life, from spending more time with our loved ones to better managing pain to dealing with the loss of a loved one. Continue reading to learn more about how our hospice, palliative, and bereavement care can help our community reach their health and wellness goals at any stage of life—and at any time of year.

The Importance of End-of-Life Planning

Here at Faith Hospice, we strive to give our patients the end-of-life journey that they want. Whether that consists of going up in a hot air balloon, spending more time with family, or finding peace with God’s plan, our staff is here to provide the necessary support. However, planning can play a big role in our patients’ ability to live out their final months as they wish.

Complimentary Therapies

Whether it be aromatherapy, a relaxing massage, a soothing tune, or the presence of an animal’s unconditional love, complementary therapies help to augment care beyond pharmacological treatment. The goal is to give every Faith Hospice patient the highest quality of life possible and too care for the whole person.

Hearts of Hospice Webinar: Helping Children Cope

It can be difficult to know how to help or where to start when a child is grieving. In our next Hearts of Hospice Webinar, Bereavement Manager, Janet Jaymin, and Bereavement Social Worker, Jenny Gruppen, discuss strategies to help children cope and give activity ideas to get children talking about their feelings.

What to Expect in the Final Days

While everyone’s end-of-life journey is different, there are similar symptoms that people experience. These physical, psychological, and spiritual changes can occur months, weeks, or days before someone’s passing. Keeping in mind that each person is on their own journey, here are some general guidelines for what you might see as someone nears the end of their life.

Your loved one has passed. Now what?

After your loved one has passed, the emotions and stress can be overwhelming. The last thing that is on most people’s minds is gathering documents and contacting insurance agents. To make this difficult time a little easier, we have compiled a list of steps that need to be taken.

Hospice Care: In-Patient vs. In-Home

Many people think of hospice as a place that people go. However, hospice is a type of care that can be offered in many different settings—a patient’s home, a senior living facility, or at an in-patient hospice facility like Faith Hospice’s Trillium Woods.

The Transition to Hospice Care

The move to hospice care can be a stressful task during an already stressful time. To help ease some of your worries and answer questions you may have about the process, we’ve broken down a few of the steps. Although everyone’s journey looks a little different, Faith Hospice Trillium Palliative Services Nurse Practitioner, Barb Opperwall, explains below what the typical transition to hospice looks like.

Hospice Care: Quality of Life, Not Just End of Life

When people hear hospice care, they probably think of the care given to a person at the end of their life. And while this is true, there is often the misconception that once someone enters hospice care, they are “giving up” or waiting to die. Hospice care is not just about preparing someone for their final days but enhancing the quality of life for that person weeks and months before.

Palliative Care: Common Questions & Misconceptions

Today, when you hear the words “palliative care”, there are likely some questions and misconceptions that arise: What is the difference between palliative care and hospice care? We turned to Nurse Practitioner and 40-year veteran of the palliative care field, Barb Opperwall, to answer these questions and clarify the most common misconceptions. [10 minute read]