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Hospice Austin’s Blog

My first patient, Mrs. A, was a delightful woman with such an easy presence about her. I approached my first visit feeling as prepared as I could be and just a bit fearful that I might not do or say the right thing. In our training, staff and long-time volunteers had shared with us that even they leave patients' homes thinking about what they did or said that they wish they hadn't. So I knew that I didn't have to be perfect. I just needed to BE - to be present for Mrs. A.

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There is a reason I got the opportunity to be part of Hospice Austin. Hospice kept coming up in my life.

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The holidays can be extremely painful for people who have experienced the loss of a loved one. Hospice Austin has developed many offerings to help loved ones get through the holidays this season. They are all free and open to anyone in our community.

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The end of a person’s life can so easily be consumed by chaos – pain, fear, grief, denial. Hospice Austin chaplains meet patients where they are, and, in the process of listening, bring comfort, peace, and invite patients to reflect on and define the meaning of their lives.

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Oct 18

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Pet Therapy

Several years ago, a patient was readmitted to Hospice Austin’s Christopher House late on a Friday afternoon. When he had been there before, he’d met Hospice Austin volunteer Rusty and her therapy dog, Faraday, a loving one-eyed white lab. As soon as this patient was wheeled into Christopher House on a gurney – before he even got to his room – he was asking for Faraday: “Where’s the dog? I need to see the dog.” Hospice Austin’s volunteer coordinator ran to call Rusty who immediately said, “I’m on my way.” She and Faraday drove across town and the patient was able to spend time with Faraday. He died two hours later.

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