Hospice Austin’s Blog
Sara Sroufe was busy sewing masks for the residents and staff at her parents’ assisted living facility in Dallas when she learned that both parents had tested positive for COVID-19. Her parents were taken to the hospital. Her mother was soon released, and Sara brought her home to care for her. Sara’s father died a few days later.
This time of social distancing can make caring for a seriously ill loved one even more isolating. Hospice Austin has created a family and caregiver support group to provide a safe space to explore, process, and share anticipatory grief.
Hospice Austin knew that 2020 would have its challenges, even before the pandemic. The warehouse next to Hospice Austin’s Christopher House was slated for demolition with a 5-story high-rise to be built in its place. Hospice Austin was faced with a difficult choice: temporarily suspend or relocate inpatient care, or leave Christopher House open but possibly have patients disturbed by the construction?
As a company, Hospice Austin’s values are based on the foundations of respect, compassion, and dignity. That’s who we are and what we bring to the community we serve. While Hospice Austin is proud of our diverse workforce and the patient population we care for, we realize that there is still much to be done. The coronavirus pandemic has starkly underscored the disparity in our healthcare system.
Our mission has always been to care for anyone who needs us, regardless of their race, their diagnosis, or their ability to pay. We reaffirm that commitment and to breaking down barriers to care wherever we encounter them.
Two days after it became apparent that the pandemic would affect Texas, when all was pandemonium and empty shelves at Austin grocery stores, HEB contacted Hospice Austin on a Sunday night to ask how they could help. Hospice Austin has been the grateful recipient of...
One of our patients in a nursing facility used to see his daughter every day. He’s elderly, and almost completely deaf. His Hospice Austin nurse, Sara Templeton, said that though he wears a hearing aid, he can only make out some of what you say if you put your mouth to his ear and yell. Seeing his daughter was the highlight of his day, but of course that ended when his facility had to restrict visitors due to COVID-19.
Precarity is the moment we are living in. It’s not easy and most of us are ready to get safely to the other side of this scary railroad bridge. To do that we need one another, all of us, working together to keep one another safe, fed, and well cared for. We also need self-compassion. Lots of it. More than ever. Because, while we have been through other hard things, we haven’t ever been through this particular hard thing.
Brian King has served as an on-call nurse and as a nurse practitioner for Hospice Austin for over 20 years. In all that time he has been the gold standard for what outstanding, compassionate, comprehensive nursing care looks and feels like. In addition to being bright and kind, Brian is exceptionally skilled at what he does and has a gift for making people feel at ease and calm during what for most is a very anxious and uncertain time. He is thorough in preparing to meet each patient, reading through their medical chart completely; steady and patient as he talks and listens to them so that they feel seen and heard; encouraging and warm such that those he serves are able to relax and know that they are in good hands.
Three of the five nurses selected as finalists in the hospice category in the Austin American-Statesman's Recognizing Nurses competition are from Hospice Austin. The public may vote online for a finalist once a day through May 1, then the top three finalists will be...
Koreana Chanterelle is a highly intuitive person and uses that superpower every day when serving our patients during the most difficult journey of their lives. She joins her patients and their loved ones on this journey, sitting with them in their pain while also providing comfort and expert care. She is a teacher, tailoring her communications to the singular needs of every patient, walking into highly challenging situations to convey calm, reassurance, and deep compassion. This is no easy task given all of the day-to-day expectations of a nurse operating in the hospice sphere.