Hospice Austin’s Blog
During this time of global uncertainty, we wanted to let you know the steps Hospice Austin is taking to help keep our patients, families, volunteers and staff safe.
I have been a singer and choir director my entire life and have witnessed the joy of music-making in a wide variety of ways from enabling adults to sing classical pieces that they thought were beyond their abilities, to teaching young children to sing simple refrains that helped them memorize and claim words of faith. I have also seen the joy on the faces of senior adults in care facilities light up as we have sung together songs from their youth and childhood. Now I am experiencing the miracle of music touching the mind and the soul of those who are locked in the isolating world of dementia.
We often get letters from family members after a patient has died, but recently Hospice Austin Executive Director Marjorie Mulanax received this lovely letter from Deborah Wallis, the sister of our current patient, Jeffrey Wallis, about his nurse.
2019 was a record-breaking year in many ways. For the first time, we admitted more than 200 patients in one month – in December we admitted 206 – and also for the first time, our average daily census rose above 400 patients.
Many of you have asked about our patient who was featured in our last newsletter. When Michelle Heller first arrived at the Monte Siesta nursing facility, it was a difficult adjustment. She was relatively young, with cancer, and could no longer live alone. She questioned her place at the nursing home. She questioned her place in life.
Recently we have received inquiries about tax-smart ways to support Hospice Austin. With the end of the tax year approaching, we wanted to share some strategies that can help you maximize the tax benefits of your charitable giving.
About six months after he lost his 47-year-old wife to cancer, John McDonald received a notice in the mail that Hospice Austin was starting The GIFT Project to educate both the community and the medical profession about the importance of advance directives. The GIFT Project – Giving Instructions for Tomorrow – provides free information sessions to congregations, civic groups, businesses and the medical community to help people think about what they want might at the end of their lives, discuss those wishes with loved ones and complete advance directives.
I met my friend, Michelle, almost two years ago shortly after she had been diagnosed with stage IV cancer. Michelle’s childhood was scarred with unreliable, abusive adults and, not surprisingly, the early part of her own adulthood was riddled with addiction and a repetition of old patterns that didn’t serve her well. But she persevered and eventually found her way into recovery and into a life-giving spiritual community. When we met, she was living independently in her own place.
Anyone grieving the death of a loved one is welcome to join us at our Fall bereavement happenings including our Fall Day of Renewal in Georgetown, Healing Grief Holistically Support Group, Surviving the Holidays, online support and more.
Under Marjorie Mulanax’s leadership, Hospice Austin has grown from serving 300 patients a year to serving nearly 400 patients a day. Much of the reason for Hospice Austin’s success can be attributed to Marjorie’s vision and her supportive and steady leadership.