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Peace and support through hospice services

Last Modified: 11/19/2019


This post was written by Gary Adkins, president, Parkview Noble Hospital.

Each year, on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the Parkview Festival of Trees signals the start of the holiday season in Noble and LaGrange Counties. Now in its 22nd year, the Festival has become part of the fabric of the community, blending the joy of the season with the warmth and generosity of sponsors, donors, volunteers and guests as they give their support for Parkview Hospice through the Parkview Noble and Parkview LaGrange Foundations.

The mission

Dame Cicely Saunders, credited as the founder of the hospice movement, described the compassion and mission of hospice for each and every patient, “You matter because you are you, and you matter to the end of your life. We will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die.” The mission, and the first hospice program it described, was created in the 1960s and remains unchanged nearly 60 years later.

Parkview Hospice provides compassion and support for patients and their loved ones as they face end-of-life challenges. This support relies on an entire team – physicians, nurses, aides, pastors, social workers, bereavement counselors, volunteers and others – to provide comfort during this difficult time. The care and services are widely varied and specific to each patient’s needs and wishes. The hospice program offers, among other services, relief from pain and other physical symptoms, relaxation through massage therapies and music, spiritual care and compassion through pastoral care and visits from a hospice volunteer.

As Jennifer Weigold, clinical supervisor, Parkview Hospice, shared, “Many assume that hospice care is limited to patients suffering from cancer. However, hospice is designed for anyone whose condition is likely to be terminal within six months, who has made the decision to allow their illness to take its course, and who may benefit from the comfort and emotional support provided by hospice.

The focus of hospice treatment is managing the patient’s symptoms and providing emotional support to the patient, family and caregivers,” she continued. “Our goal is to enable the patient to live the remainder of his or her life as fully as possible. The patient and their loved ones are at the center of their hospice team.”


David and Marge Kile

The couple had lived and raised their family in their Kendallville lake home since they purchased it in 1967. They spent several months each winter in an apartment in Florida, near their adult children and grandchildren. Both enjoyed riding their motorcycles and being outdoors.

Their lives underwent a significant change when Dave was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2015. During the early years of his illness, he had moments of being disoriented and forgetful, and longer periods when he was symptom-free. As these moments of confusion grew in frequency and duration, it became difficult for Marge to maintain two homes, so they sold their Florida property in 2016.

This past summer, in late July, Dave became ill and fell. Marge called the Parkview Noble EMS for help and Dave was admitted to the hospital. The Parkview Hospice chaplain, Ken Weaver, talked with Marge about engaging hospice services for Dave. “Ken is such a wonderful person. He was so kind and helpful connecting us to Parkview hospice,” Marge said.

“Dave was in so much pain from the fall and I wouldn’t have been able to take care of him at home. The hospice nurse who helped bathe him was so gentle and loving with him. I appreciated so much everything she did for him to help him be comfortable. The kind hospice volunteers also brought a handmade afghan and a quilt for Dave, to help him stay warm.

Another of the Parkview Hospice volunteers, Tom Pfaffenberger, arranged a military honors ceremony for Dave,” Marge continued. “The ceremony there in the hospital room was so thoughtful. Because of Dave’s condition, Tom pinned Dave’s medal on a red, white and blue teddy bear he had specially brought for the ceremony. He also gave Dave a framed certificate thanking him for his service.”

Dave passed away on August 1, 2019. Tom arranged for military honors at the funeral. “They presented me with a framed American flag,” Marge said. “The navy officer thanked me for Dave’s service to his country.”

Hospice volunteers

Volunteers like Tom play an often quiet, but essential role as a member of a patient’s team by providing companionship and support. The services a hospice volunteer might provide could include spending quality time with the patient or caregiver, talking or reading aloud, playing music to the patient or assisting at meal times. Some specialized volunteers provide pet therapy or “Santa” visits, or, like Tom, conduct pinning ceremonies for veterans. Still others help out in the Parkview Hospice office with administrative duties, making phone calls each week to check in on patients, assisting in the bereavement program and with memorial service events.

Hospice volunteers give as much or as little time as fits their needs and schedule. “This is an opportunity to give the gifts of time to those in need,” Kelby Johnston, coordinator, Parkview Hospice Volunteers, said. “Volunteers often tell me they end up feeling as if they get more out of the relationships they create with the patient and family members than they are giving. Volunteering in hospice is a unique journey that is full of gratitude.”

Parkview Hospice is always in need of additional volunteers. New hospice volunteers complete formal training before beginning their hospice volunteer service. Training sessions are offered each month. If you are interested in more information, contact Kelby Johnston at 260-452-5411 or kelby.johnston@parkview.com. For additional information about Parkview Home Health & Hospice or to make a referral, call 260-347-8910.

Festival of Trees 2019

Join us as we celebrate the 22nd Annual Festival of Trees on Saturday, November 23, 2019.

Morning events

10 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. – TC Dance presents its annual Holiday Performance at Cole Auditorium, East Noble High School

10 a.m. - Noon – Annual Festival of Trees Open House, Kendallville Event Center

Suggested donation at the door: $5 per person, includes both morning events; $3 per person Open House only. Children under 12 are free when accompanied by an adult.

Learn more about the event here


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