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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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The Beauty and the Mystery

Hospice Austin social workers are on the emotional front lines for patients and families coming to the end of life’s journey. They help families heal fractured relationships, plan funerals, access social support services, normalize symptoms, and give voice to their sadness and fear. They provide a calming presence by holding space and offering support for the social and emotional issues that arise during this agonizing time. They help patients and families build on their own emotional strength.

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Why I volunteer at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House

I volunteer at Hospice Austin's Christopher House because of the generosity and compassion that transcends throughout the building with patient care, professional friendly staff and the great family feeling of love to all that enters the building (young or old). I have seen babies in cribs there. My most memorable story was the first year I volunteered on Thanksgiving Day at Christopher House and witnessed for myself the love and joy that was given through food and fellowship to the patients and their families.

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Celebrating 20 Years of In-patient Care

When Hospice Austin Executive Director Marjorie Mulanax toured Christopher House in 1993 after it opened as a small AIDS hospital, she was dazzled. “Oh my gosh,” she remembers thinking, “They’ve done what we need to do!” Hospice Austin needed an in-patient facility, but Marjorie didn’t see how it would be financially possible.

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Blessing of the Animals

Hospice Austin knows that animals are a source of comfort for many of our patients and staff members. Join us as we honor the special role of our pets at “A Blessing of the Animals” on Sunday, October 15 at 2 pm.

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Hospice Austin Standard Bearer of 2017 Erik Secrest

Announcing our Standard Bearer for 2017:  Erik Secrest! Years before our organization began a conversation about the RIGHT way Standards of Behavior, Erik was living out those characteristics day after day.  For almost 20 years, Erik has served at the “heart” of Hospice Austin’s Christopher House as the Unit Clerk. We have a fireplace in the living room at Hospice Austin's Christopher House where people can warm themselves on cold days.  When Erik is here, the hearth moves over to the Unit Clerk desk, and people are warmed by his beautiful, welcoming spirit. Erik makes us proud to be part of the Hospice Austin team!

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Valentine Bear Hugs

Every February when people all over the country are preparing to celebrate Valentine’s Day by buying candy or flowers, giving gifts or taking a loved one to dinner – all in the name of St. Valentine – my thoughts turn to leading an outreach drive to collect teddy bears to donate to Hospice Austin’s Christopher […]

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