Hospice in Yakima

The gift of comfort.  Compass care services are reaching more people than ever.  Because of your support, more licensed social workers support all of our palliative and hospice patients and their family caregivers who are struggling to cope with the uncertainties and fears of an extended or terminal illness.  Cottage in the Meadow has more rooms for patients and their families to receive the specialized, compassionate care needed at life’s end.

Learn more about Cottage in the Meadow here.

You can support Cottage in the Meadow, and other Compass Care programs and services below:

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End Of Life Care

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A Wish Becomes a Reality

 

Thank you for your support of home health and hospice programs through The Memorial Foundation.  This summer a patient shared with his hospice social worker that he would like to go fishing. One of his favorite hobbies was fishing on the Columbia River.  Within 48 hours of his request, his hospice team and staff from Advanced Life Systems donated their time and resources to make his wish a reality.  The team spent the day at Clear Lake fishing and barbecuing.  Although no one caught a fish that day, overall, our patient was happy to be able to spend one last time in the mountains, sitting by a lake, fishing and enjoying the beautiful view.

Your gifts honor and serve many in our community in so many ways. You can give at https://memfound.org/give-donate.asp

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A Thrill of Hope

Ken and Connie live in a beautiful, yet modest, brick house. Standing outside, it is evident that it is more than just a house; it radiates the feeling that this is a home. After stepping inside, the feeling is reinforced by pictures of family, friends and grandkids covering the walls and fridge, the beautiful knick-knacks that decorate the tops of shelves and cabinets, and the overly-excited greeting by their dog Tucker.

What you can’t see standing outside looking in at the warm glow of the house is a cupboard full of medicine, the table covered with gauze, bandages and medical devices, and the love that Ken exudes as he helps care for his wife who now has Alzheimer’s. While this journey alone is exhausting for the couple, Ken is undergoing radiation therapy and receives out-patient palliative care through Virginia Mason Memorial Hospital’s Home Health and Hospice.

Lindsey Catton, the volunteer services coordinator at Cottage in the Meadow, was approached by Ken’s palliative care social worker about the possibility of having volunteers winterize Ken and Connie’s yard. Lindsey recognized that this was a need that had to be met, so she reached out to the YouthWorks Council, The Memorial Foundation’s group of 20 student volunteers representing seven high schools across the Yakima Valley. Without knowing the couple’s story, the students jumped at the opportunity to help community members who needed a little extra help around their house.

On December 6, after a full day of school, extracurricular-club meetings, and sports practices, eight of the YouthWorks Council members arrived to help prepare the yard for the upcoming winter weather. After an hour of raking leaves and cleaning out flower beds and bushes, Ken thanked the group for the act of kindness.

“What you all don’t know,” Ken said, “Is that my bride of 57 years inside has Alzheimer’s and I just had another round of radiation therapy.” The teenagers’ eyes widened and hearts opened. “As you can see I can’t walk very well or do a whole lot with my arms. This never would have got done without you.” He continued, “How can I ever thank you?”

Lindsey had mentioned to Josh Munson, the program coordinator of YouthWorks, that Ken and Connie might need help getting their Christmas tree out of the garage. When asked about the tree, Ken replied that he couldn’t ask for any more help and besides, the group needed to get home for supper. Without a second of hesitation each volunteer expressed that they would stay there until the couple’s tree was up and decorated.

The group went straight to work: Braedon, Gunnar and Jorge carried the tree and ornament boxes inside from the shed, while Mykah helped string lights and strands of cranberry-red beads around the tree. Brienn, Dani, Kailea, and Kayla delicately unwrapped ornaments as the group listened to Ken and Connie reminisce over the almost 60 years of Christmas memories each ornament represented. Braedon had the honor of topping the tree with its homemade angel. Together the group decorated the tree and helped honor the lives of strangers by welcoming Christmas into their home. For an evening, if even just an hour or two, Ken and Connie rejoiced and reflected on the Christmas memories shared together instead of anticipating what is ahead in their journey. The peace that overwhelmed the room was felt by all.

As the YouthWorks Council said their goodbyes and wished Ken and Connie merry Christmases, Ken exclaimed to Josh, “What a true Christmas miracle.”

While the group may never fully comprehend what this compassion meant to Ken and Connie during a time of great need in their lives, the couple may never realize the effect this night had on the lives of each student volunteer. The group walked away openly committing to help the couple with more yard work, snow removal, or wherever there is a need.

With this final thought in mind, after leaving the couple’s warm brick home that is so evidently full of love, a well-known carol played on the radio with a lyric that resonated like never before:

A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

 

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Speaking from the Heart

“Cottage in the Meadow allowed me to just be her son at the end of my mom’s life.”  Jason Schilling spoke from the heart when he told his story at the Cottage in the Meadow Garden Reception this past fall.  From the time of her diagnosis, all Jason wanted was to take care of his mother the way she had always cared for him. It wasn’t until she was admitted that he realized how much he and his children also needed the solace of Cottage in the Meadow.  They let the professionals take over the medical care, and the family was then able to be there to support his mom and say good-bye without worrying about the caregiving details.  Coincidentally, Jason’s wife, Laura, started her first day as a nurse at the Cottage on the day her mother-in-law was admitted.  She felt fortunate to have the team supporting her family through the ordeal of their mother’s passing. And now, softened by the heartbreaking lessons of experience, Laura carries on, tenderly supporting other families as they are caressing the hand of their own loved ones for the last time.

Your gifts have helped Jason and so many other families like his as they lovingly say good-bye to their loved ones.

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A Son and Daughter Share Their Experience

Through generous, ongoing community donations, Compass Care programs provide care and support for patients and families who are faced with a terminal illness. Hospice helps terminally ill people live their best lives, as comfortably as possible. The focus is on comfort, not on curing an illness. Cottage in the Meadow is a Medicare-approved hospice-care facility that addresses particular needs for the hospice patient.

Hear Nick and Heidi share their experience about their mother’s care at Cottage in the Meadow.

 

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