Chronicles of Care

Successful Disaster Drill

For almost 40 years, The Denver Hospice and Optio Health Services have led the way in providing top-notch comfort and care to those in our community facing a terminal illness. Part of our commitment to being at the forefront of serving this vulnerable population is to meet the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) conditions of participation in initiating and maintaining the highest standards in Emergency Preparedness so that all staff and partners are ready should a disaster strike.

Last month, through a coordinated effort with community resources, we successfully ran a complete disaster drill in which all electricity as well as back up electricity was lost at our 24-bed Inpatient Care Center. We tested response protocols and timing for triaging current patients and “walking wounded” from the community, while transporting the patients who could not be cared for properly with Apex Paramedics.

This was the first of many disaster drills that will ensure The Denver Hospice staff can respond quickly and efficiently for whatever is needed to assist our patients, families, staff and surrounding


The Denver Hospice Announces 2018 Signature Fundraising Event ‘Heroes and Halos: A Tribute to Veterans’

Nearly one-third of patients served by The Denver Hospice are U.S. military veterans. To highlight the contributions of all service men and women, The Denver Hospice has announced its 2018 signature fundraising event, Heroes and Haloes: A Tribute to Veterans. The new event is expected to draw more than 300 attendees on June 9, 2018 at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, and will feature Archie Manning, former NFL player and son of a military veteran, as the keynote speaker.

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“Nothing keeps a good man down”

“Veterans in hospice care know what it means to sacrifice and to serve. As a volunteer, I’m here to listen if they want to tell their story. Sometimes that can be very meaningful for them, but I think I’m the one who gets the gift of learning through them. It is just an honor,” says Amanda Korth, a Denver Hospice volunteer.

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The Denver Hospice Honors Families, Caregivers & Veterans with CareGiving 2017 Campaign

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and for the second straight year, The Denver Hospice is recognizing military veterans, families and caregivers with its CareGiving campaign. Caregiving 2017 will focus on raising awareness and funding to support individuals and families facing advanced illness and end-of-life decisions, and to honor the caregivers and volunteers who are with them throughout their journey.

The Caregiving 2017 campaign will run through November and culminate on Dec. 5 on Colorado Gives Day. CareGiving 2017 aims to raise awareness and critical funding for the services and resources it provides families and patients throughout the nine-county Denver metro area, through digital and social media storytelling, tips about how to approach difficult conversations with your loved ones, and information about services including grief counseling, palliative care and specialized services for military veterans.

Approximately one-third of the patients that The Denver Hospice serves are military veterans, many of whom have unique experiences and specialized needs as they consider their palliative and hospice care options. Look for a very special veteran-related announcement the week of Veteran’s Day, which is Nov. 11.

While the Denver Hospice’s CareGiving 2017 campaign culminates on Colorado Gives Day, those gifts can be scheduled starting today at Colorado Gives. For every Colorado Gives Day gift to The Denver Hospice, we will receive a portion of the $1 million Colorado Gives Day incentive fund, so your gift will go even further to helping if you participate in this annual campaign.

“National Hospice and Palliative Care Month provides an important platform from which to discuss subjects that are difficult but essential for everyone to consider,” said Melinda Egging, current president at The Denver Hospice. “CareGiving 2017 allows us to celebrate stories of love, dignity and support while sharing critical information about options and resources made possible by The Denver Hospice – regardless of an individual’s ability to pay.”

The Denver Hospice was named Best Non-Profit in ColoradoBiz magazine’s Best of Colorado Business Choice Awards for 2016 and is the only hospice in Denver to achieve Level IV designation—the highest-level accreditation in We Honor Veterans, a joint program of the Veterans Administration and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

To schedule a year-end charitable contribution to The Denver Hospice for Colorado Gives Day, visit the Colorado Gives Day website. Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtags #CareGiving2017 and #HospiceMonth.

The Denver Hospice is Named One of the Top 25 Palliative Care Blogs and Websites on the Web

The Denver Hospice is pleased to announce that Feedspot has named our blog, Chronicles of Care, a Top 25 Palliative Care Blog and Website on the Web. All of the blogs are ranked based on following criteria:

  • Google reputation and Google search ranking
  • Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites
  • Quality and consistency of posts
  • Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review

Preserving My Mother’s Dignity at the End of Her Life

When my mother reached the end of her life she had only two requests: that she be able to die in her own home and that I be by her side. But I knew as well that it would be very important for her to retain her dignity, even as her physical health was declining. Mom had always been a beautiful woman and took pride in how she dressed and presented herself to the world. So I realized it would be important to her to feel she was at her best even in the worst of situations.
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My Autobiography is Still Being Written

I’m writing to share my story about why The Denver Hospice is so special and to demystify and encourage others to look into art or music therapy because it has meant the world to me. Continue reading “My Autobiography is Still Being Written”

Simple Questions to Start an End-of-Life Conversation with an Elderly Loved One

Statistics show that when people talk about their healthcare wishes long before they reach the end of life, they receive less unnecessary and expensive care when they are dying. An excellent example of this fact is La Crosse, Wisconsin, where, as a result of a 20-year old initiative to talk about end-of-life planning, 96% of people who die have completed paperwork to specify their wishes for care. Because of this preparation the community spends less on end-of-life healthcare than any other place in the country. 1
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How Family Movie Night Can Lead to a Conversation About Death

Recently there has been a growing focus for individuals in our society to look at their hopes and desires for the end-of-life and put those wishes into writing. The Five Wishes document and The Conversation Project Starter Kit have helped people think about that day when life will come to an end and put those thoughts and feelings into writing.

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How Being a Caregiver Helped Me With Grief

As a hospice doctor I have often worked with families caring for a dying loved one at home. But I have only once had the opportunity to switch places and be the caregiver myself when my mother died. That was a profound and educational experience for me as I suddenly understood personally what it was like to be with a dying loved one around-the-clock.

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