Hospice Care, What is it?

Ruddy Shenkman Hospice

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.

Inefficiency: Today’s Rant

I guess patience is not a virtue I possess; I have a hard time dealing with inefficiency…

As the team manager of my son’s hockey team, I and three other parents need to update our police checks to volunteer on the team.  All of us had this done many times over the years, through schools and sports teams. However, the rule is the checks have to be updated regularly.  I thought it would be more efficient to submit all four at once, so I volunteered to take their forms in with mine.  I photocopied all of the necessary ID, and had the other individuals fill in their own paperwork.

Yesterday, with four organized, neatly stapled, efficient packages of paper in my possession, I waited in line at our local police station. I was behind at least twelve other people. The first sign of inefficiency?  One lone police officer behind one of four wickets attended the needs of all the people in the line.  Apparently the budget was able to support this beautiful new building, but not the staff to occupy it. The fact that the line up was a group of chairs that we sat in should have warned me that the wait was going to be a long one.  When the line had not moved an inch in over thirty minutes, I left, as I had too many things to get done in the next few hours.


This morning I went back to try again.  After waiting 45 minutes for the same lone police officer to help me, I was told that I could not submit the paperwork for the other parents.  Apparently this practice was discontinued several years ago. I know I have done this before, so it must have been discontinued fairly recently.

I do recognize the importance of these police checks for volunteers working with children.  However, parents are busier than ever today juggling work commitments with their children activities. The volunteer process should be much simpler and much more efficient.  

Volunteers are extremely important to the success of any community.  Our children benefit directly when parents volunteer for the many positions that need to be filled. Not to mention the example these volunteers provide on how to give back to the community that gives so much to them.