Thank You Volunteers!
This month we celebrate our wonderful volunteers. Hospice of the Valleys would not be Hospice of the Valleys without the generous and gifted women and men who give their time and the gift of themselves to our patients, family, our agency, and our community. In celebration, I give you a Volunteer’s Acrostic!
O:Open-hearted. They come to serve with open minds and hearts, accepting and embracing all, without judgment. (Having been to our volunteers celebrations, I also though the the “o” could be for obstreperous, as these fun gatherings are often uproarious, rowdy, and wild. True celebrations!
L:Loving. Our volunteers bring lives of love and share many, many shades of love with all.
U:Understanding.They bring deep understanding to all they serve. This understanding is the fruit of lived compassion.
N:Nurturing. Our volunteers care about and encourage the growth of hope, the sharing of comfort, and believe in the blessings of kindness.
T:Tenacious.They are tenacious about all tasks! If you want something done well, and with grace, our volunteers are the ones to call!
E:Energetic.Our volunteers bring a marvelous energy to all they do which is both contagious and life giving.
E:Eclectic.Hailing from a broad and diverse range of backgrounds, life experiences, and gifts…our volunteers truly are both the rainbow and the pot of gold beneath it.
R:Too many words apply here!
Reliable, responsible, resourceful…Hospice of the Valleys volunteers engender respect for all who meet them.
S:Sensitive. Our volunteers exhibit delicate thoughtfulness, sincere appreciativeness, and tender caring to all they serve.
A Note From
Our Executive Medical Director
Being MortalThis year Good Friday is the day before tax day, April 15th serving as a fateful reminder of the two things in life which no one can avoid – death and taxes. Although I am not an accountant, I am told that if you need more time to prepare your taxes you can fill out a form and request a 6 month extension. Unfortunately in my line of work as a doctor, we don’t have any forms we can file to request a 6 month extension when death approaches. The best advice I have to offer is to take some time now to prepare yourself and your family because unlike taxes, we don’t know when death will occur.
If you don’t like talking about death, you are not alone as it seems most doctors are not comfortable talking about death either. In his bestselling book “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End,” Dr. Atul Gawande tackles one of the most difficult challenges of his profession: what to do when there is no cure. The book serves as the basis of a moving PBS Frontline Documentary that follows the lives of several patients through their end of life journey. Although each story is unique, they all share one thing in common – the families each needed to make very difficult end of life decisions and it was no easy. If you are interested in seeing Being Mortal, Hospice of the Valleys will be providing free screenings throughout the year including a screening on Sunday May 21st at Calvary Chapel Murrieta and on Thursday May 25th at the Mary Phillips Senior Center in Temecula.
Although there is nothing I can do or say as a physician that will make it easy to make these difficult end of life decisions, I have discovered a very helpful planning tool known as “Five Wishes” that is easy to use and can be completed in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Five Wishes is the first living will that talks about your personal, emotional, and spiritual needs, as well as your medical wishes. Hopsice of the Valleys will be hosting free, public workshops on completing the Five Wishes living will throughout the year.