Fall 2018

Sharing our special moments
with you.
Pictured above: Two HeartStrings volunteers play music at Gosnell --
Lee on the ukulele and Shannon on the cello.
Music Therapy at Gosnell

A Word About Advance Care Planning...from a Millennial

National Hospice Month

Meryl Ruth wins Volunteer of the Year Award

Making Space for Grief

Fall Appeal is in the Mail!

HSM in the News

2017 Annual Report
( now available online )


Music Therapy at
Gosnell Memorial Hospice House

HSM recently initiated HeartStrings, an exciting new music therapy program at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House. Integrating music into end-of-life care has many proven benefits:

  • Music can help reduce fear, depression, anxiety, and awareness of physical pain;

  • Music can regulate heart rate;

  • Music therapy encourages sleep, socialization, and life review;

  • Music can also be beneficial for caregivers and providers.

After completing 30 hours of hospice training, our HeartStrings volunteers play live music in the living room at Gosnell, not as performers, but to provide a soothing presence. They also play bedside upon request. This wonderful new program is a continuation of several complimentary, volunteer-driven services at Gosnell to support peoples' needs at the end of life.
A Word about Advance Care Planning... from a Millennial

I’m 27. Before I started working at Hospice of Southern Maine, I rarely thought about my end of life and I actively avoided thinking about my parents' deaths. But in the nearly two years that I’ve worked for HSM, I’ve become a passionate advocate for hospice, and especially for advance care planning – the act of legally making your end-of-life wishes known before a crisis occurs. It’s gotten to the point where I think my friends might be sick of hearing me talk about advance directives. But it’s hard not to! My friends and I are at that age where most of us have parents who are aging out of middle-age. I am an only child. My mother was 40 when I was born and recently celebrated her 68 th birthday. I am scared of what the future could hold, what decisions I might have to make, and how I'll navigate the emotional and financial stress of caring for my aging parents alone as I consider having children myself. This is why advance care planning matters. 
The Maine Health Care Advance Directive form is easy to access, and is the best tool available to help alleviate the stress of making end-of-life care decisions. If filling out an advance directive seems daunting, there are many resources out there to make the process easier. The Conversation Project has an entire free toolkit on their website for this exact purpose. Or, consider the game Hello, which helps you identify your end-of-life priorities through game-play. The bottom line is, no matter how old you are, advance care planning is crucial. So, don’t wait - do it for yourself, and do it for those who love you.
November is National Hospice Month

This is National Hospice Month, and hospices across the country are spreading awareness about the value of hospice care at the end of life. We encourage you to help spread the word, too, by forwarding this email to friends and family who may want to know more. Below are some common misconceptions about hospice, and the facts to counter them. We hope that through education, we can fight back against the negative stigma that surrounds death and dying.
HSM PawPrints Volunteer Honored
We are proud to announce that PawPrints pet therapy volunteer Meryl Ruth (and her Chihuahua Bridget), was named Home Care & Hospice Alliance Volunteer of the Year. Meryl and Bridget do so much for our patients, families, and staff; we are thrilled that they have been honored in this way.

Gosnell Chaplain Lindsay Roan, who nominated Meryl for the award, said "Her compassion is so clear as she talks with families, providing a much needed shoulder to cry on while Bridget curls up in their arms and snuggles. She never hesitates to offer visits to anyone. Staff have also benefited from Meryl's hugs, warm grounded attention, and the love of the little dog that travels with her... This agency is better because of the care of Meryl and Bridget." We couldn't agree more!

Read more about Meryl and Bridget in this My Generations article where they were recently featured.
Making Space for Grief in Our Lives
In May, HSM held its 8th annual Thresholds Conference with keynote speaker Kate Braestrup. The theme of the conference was grief - its affect on the lives of those who are bereaved, professional advice on how to navigate the grieving process, and how we can support those in our lives who are dealing with loss. The event was sold out with more than 500 attendees!

During the conference, audience members submitted grief-related questions to HSM Bereavement Services Manager, Carol Schoneberg. Click here to read Carol's responses to those questions.

If you are grieving and need to talk to somebody, HSM offers one-on-one and group bereavement services at no cost to anyone in the community, even if your loved one did not die in our care. For more information, click here.

The season of giving is here! As you decide where to direct your year-end gifts, please keep HSM in mind. Our Fall Appeal letter is in the mail, but if you prefer to give online, it is fast and easy. Your donation will support patient and family care for those at Gosnell and at home, as well as our bereavement and volunteer programs. We accept various types of gifts, including cash, stock, and gifts from Donor Advised Funds. Thank you!
HSM in the News
2017 Annual Report

Hospice of Southern Maine's 2017 Annual Report is now available online! Click here to read about our fantastic year, and how your support made a difference for our patients and families.
  Hospice of Southern Maine 180 US Route 1, Scarborough, ME 04074

Phone: (207) 289-3640 / Fax: (207) 883-1040 / Email:  give@hospiceofsouthernmaine.org

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