Unfortunately, most people are not aware of what a hospice is until they have the need for one. If you looked it up in a dictionary, a hospice would be described as a home for the terminally ill. While hospitals are known for their goals of restoring health, hospices are geared toward supporting (both psychologically and spiritually) a dying patient and their family.
Years ago I first learned about hospices when my friend was losing her fight with cancer. A few times per week she attended a day hospice where she met with others in similar situations. These outings offered her great comfort. At that time there were no live-in hospices in our community. Today we are fortunate to have the newly expanded Ruddy Shenkman Hospice that currently has the capacity for ten live-in patients as well as day services.
I volunteer at this hospice on the gardening team. It gives me great satisfaction to help provide a beautiful setting for patients and their families living and visiting there. The gardens that were planted immediately after the construction were pretty boring, not to mention depressing, with rows of shrubs of which many were dead...
I spent a few days removing the dead sticks and replacing them with recycled perennials, then added mulch. Much better…
These beds will look even better in a few weeks when the recycled plants have a chance to get established.
Hospice Gardens Update
It has been a few years now that I have been volunteering my gardening services at our local (RSH) hospice. Thanks to our amazing garden team, the gardens around the extensive property are thriving beautifully. Visit the link in the previous line to see pictures of our most recent finished garden. The story and pictures of a new project, started last fall, can be seen here.