Volunteer Newsletter - January 2022

As we head into a third year of pandemic living, Kaua'i Hospice continues to roll with the changes -- adapting and building skills. Although Medicare has temporarily lifted the 5% volunteer-match requirement to lessen the burden on hospices nationwide, we are looking ahead and carefully integrating volunteers back into patient care settings. In mid-January, we are offering a COVID-Safety Precautions Training to a small cadre of volunteers that will prepare them for in-home patient visits. And, to you dear reader, we thank you as a collaborator in this important work as we journey forward into 2022 with optimism!
(January 19, 1944 - December 18, 2021)

Me ke aloha pumehana
Kaua`i Hospice beloved Board President, Mary Wall died peacefully at home in hospice care in Colorado, Springs, Colorado on Saturday, December 18, 2021. Mary worked as a nurse for Penrose Hospital for thirty years and received numerous nursing awards, including the Colorado State Nightingale Award in 1997. In 2005 Mary was inducted into the Colorado Nursing Hall of Fame.  

Mary served as the Board President of Kaua`i Hospice since 2018 with love, passion and integrity. Her leadership guided and upheld Kaua`i Hospice to the highest professional and clinical standards in the delivery of hospice and palliative care services to patients and families – always with compassion. Mary was an exceptional nursing leader, women’s advocate, mother and wife. She was loved by all who knew her.

She is preceded in death by her son, Richard Ryan Wall; parents, John and Annabelle Degnan; brother-in-law, George Wall; and sister-in-law Marjorie Bingham. Mary is survived by her husband, Dr. Richard A. Wall; sister, Margaret (Jim) Miller; sister-in-law, Mary E. Wall; brother-in-law, Tom Egan; and many beloved nieces and nephews. 
By Lara Dacuik O'Connor

Travel lightly. 
Take only the blessings.
There will be singing.
Everyone leaves things undone.
All of it is forgiven.
Your body knows what to do, the same as when you were born.
You will be loved and remembered. 
You are held in the great web.
It's ok that this wasn't supposed to happen.
We are all learning.
You did enough if you did one thing good.
It's ok to miss hugs and peaches. It's ok to be homesick for Earth.
You will hear your loved ones talk to you.
It'll be beautiful when you touch them back.
You will be magic in their lives. You'll live on as hope.
You are now passing the torch.
With love that binds, in peace... let go.

Mahalo to Kathleen Schildhouse, RN for sharing this poem.

The second annual Lanterns of Love event (December 8 through January 31) features more than 200 illuminated lanterns reserved by community members in memory of their loved ones. The lanterns are wrapped around the Kauai Hospice Center for Compassion throughout the holiday season. Executive Director Tricia Yamashita notes that "viewers can visit from 6 to 9 p.m. daily to remember loved ones, reflect and spend a quiet moment.” Open to all, those who walked among the lanterns shared their gratitude for the beautiful opportunity for remembrance and connection.  Click here to read the article featured in The Garden Island Newspaper.
By Felix Gonzalez-Torres

In this 2011 "portrait" of Ross Laycock, minimalist artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres created a spill of colorful wrapped candies that approximated Ross's ideal weight (175 lbs.) before he died from an AIDS-related illness. Viewers are invited to take a candy to partake in the sweetness of their relationship. And, this personal act of sharing or communion is intended to foster community and break down social barriers as well. As the mound of candies gradually diminishes, it is a metaphor for Ross’s gradual weight loss prior to his death. Yet, the artist stipulated that the pile should be replenished, just as the cycle of life and death continues. Finally, at the moment when the candy dissolves in the person's mouth, there may be recognition of one’s own mortality and inevitable demise. 
Lion's Roar Magazine (November 2021)

The November 2021 issue on Death features a wealth of articles to guide your contemplation of mortality. Lion's Roar (Buddhist wisdom for our time) is a nonprofit foundation committed to celebrating the rich diversity of Buddhist practices and practitioners. Articles include:

<> Good Death? Let’s Get Real - By Joan Halifax
<> Everything Dies - By Sallie Tisdale
<> Goodbye and Good Journey - By Lion's Roar Staff
<> 7 Life and Death Questions - By Michael Hebb
<> Where, Oh Where Will I Go? - By John Tarrant

Click here to read. Mahalo to Volunteer Marie Cole for sharing this resource!

No matter where someone is on their dementia journey, they continue to receive information and respond to their environment. These fabric swatches, both colorful and textural, were assembled by our volunteer Angela for her hospice patient. This textile "book" can send messages to the brain that evoke interest, improve patient’s mood, or create a sense of wonder. The goal is engagement -- offering a sensory rich activity to calm the anxiety and agitation that are common symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Sometimes called “fidget” objects, their visual and tactile qualities can provide sensory therapy, offering comfort for those with restless hands — wringing, rubbing or twisting their fingers, pulling or rubbing at clothes or bedding. Keep in mind that calming strategies that work today may not work tomorrow.  
With warm wishes for a happy, healthy New Year...
Rayne Regush, Volunteer Coordinator
Main 808-245-7277 | Direct 808-977-8501 | www.kauaihospice.org
Join us on social media!