The work of a hospice caregiver often transcends any description of kindness, service and ministry. It takes a very special kind of compassion and dedication. A very special person.
Each month Langeland Family Funeral Homes selects an individual as a recipient of the Hospice Caregiver Award from your nominations. The person chosen as the monthly award winner receives a gift card to be used for whatever they desire. Their name is also engraved on a leaf on the Hospice Caregiver tree at the Westside location. Yearly, Langeland Family Funeral Homes holds a reception to honor the past year's award recipients. During the reception, one of these special people will be selected as “Caregiver of the Year”. The Caregiver of the Year recipient will receive a gift certificate for a very special evening and a night away.
What a year, what a challenge! The Hospice Caregivers in our community need recognition now more than ever considering the challenges they have faced trying to support their clients and families through the death process and at the same time keeping everyone safe. The striving to find a balance between physical safety and meeting emotional needs we have had to confront throughout the pandemic is felt to the extreme in the caring for the dying and their families. To seek to not to be a spreader of a deadly virus and at the same time satisfy the desperate need for human physical contact in one of the most vulnerable times of life. These Hospice Caregivers have put themselves on the line and are providing the care that is needed.
So Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial and Cremation Services has not faltered in recognizing these special individuals through the monthly Hospice Caregiver Awards even in 2020, presenting the awards in a way the Hospice Care Organization feels comfortable - via zoom or on the phone, in person outside, in a large spacious room always wearing masks and keeping a safe distance.
Now it is time to gather the monthly awards September 2019 – August 2020 and select the Hospice Caregiver for 2020. A time to honor all the monthly winners and select the Hospice Caregiver of the Year normally takes place at a special banquet in October where the monthly Hospice Caregiver Award Winners have an opportunity to invite several people to enjoy an evening of food and fellowship together. It became apparent we would be unable to present the award in the usual way. So, the staff at the Langeland Memorial Chapel gathered on April 6, 2021 for a reading of the names of all the monthly winners who were eligible and then selected the Hospice Caregiver for 2020 from this group.
Shea Auge was selected as the Langeland Hospice Caregiver for 2020. Shea is a Hospice Aide for Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. She has worked for HCSWMI for the past 2 ½ years and has been a Hospice Caregiver for seven years. Shea was nominated for a monthly award by Thomas Fenwick and Paula Striebel for the exceptional care which she gave to their mother. Shea said she finds the most gratifying part of her job is being a positive support for her clients and their families.
Shea was attracted to becoming a Hospice Caregiver because she saw how she could make a positive difference in people’s lives, and especially as they are going through a very hard time, to be able to make them feel special. Shea said she feels especially humbled by being allowed to care for people during the most vulnerable time of their life. Shea also sees each of her clients as bringing something special to her life, whether it is a new perspective on death/dying, a joke or flash of a smile while telling a story from the past. She appreciates the uniqueness of all the people she supports.
The Pandemic has certainly raised the bar on the stress and difficulties of caregiving. Shea enjoys spending time with her family who are very supportive and being outdoors with her energetic 3 year old son, Asher. Shea shares how she has been challenged and how she has grown going through the pandemic, “The uncertainty and processing new information every day. Also trying to remain calm and positive for our clients while trying to keep them safe and healthy as well as ourselves. I learned even through difficult times, if we work together, we will get through it.”
Shea also has a message for her coworkers: “To my coworkers I just want to say THANK YOU. Thank you for all you do each and every day. It’s not easy the type of work we do, and it takes someone with a very special heart to do this job. I feel Blessed to work for such a great company and to work along side the best!”
Thank you Shea! You are a wonderful example of the heart and soul of an exceptional Hospice Caregiver.
Ken Herson was nominated by Scarlet O'heran.
I have nominated Ken for being a Veteran Volunteer for Heartland Hospice for the past 5 years. Ken has performed over 150 pinning ceremonies for our veteran hospice patients. He puts his time, effort, and resources into honoring our Veterans. Ken's priority is to say 'thank you' to his fellow Veterans before their final transition. Through work, family, sickness, Ken's determination has prompted me to nominate him for this honor.
During the Covid Pandemic we are still presenting the Hospice Caregiver Award in a safe way giving honor to these very special individuals. Pictured from Left to Right: Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager of Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Kenneth Herson, Veteran Volunteer at Heartland Hospice; Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator at Langeland Family Funeral Homes.
Thank you Ken for all you do as an exceptional Caregiver and we especially recognize how you are going above and beyond during the current pandemic.
Ken received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever he would like.
Dana was nominated by Cheryl Stoltzner
Dana only came once but she stood out from the other person who came to our home. She was friendly, outgoing, appeared to have real concern for her patient - she did a through and quick cleanup of her patient – she was kind and considerate during a bedbath insuring the patient’s privacy. She was kind and concerned with family members. She has that something extra that you look for in an individual coming to your home – she has a spark that was uplifting to the patient and family. She was a bring spot on a dreary day.
Due to Covid-19 Pandemic and the requirements for social distancing Dana received her award on June 18 at a Phone-in Staff meeting with Elara Caring Hospice. Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial and Cremation Services was able to present the award over the phone in the phone presence of her co-workers. Later the Hospice Caregiver Award was dropped off at Elara Caring Hospice where Dana was able to pick it up and get her photo taken with her award.
Thank you Dana for all you do as an exceptional Caregiver and we especially recognize how you are going above and beyond during the current pandemic.
Dana received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Alexis was nominated by Patty Kendall.
As a hospice aide, Alexis always goes above and beyond to make sure her patients feel special. She works extra on nights and weekends when there is a special request or need for any patient. She is the example of a great, kind and loving person. She makes sure that patients last days spent with their loved ones are the best they can be.
Due to Covid-19 Pandemic and the requirements for social distancing Alexis received her award on June 11 at a Zoom Staff meeting with Grace Hospice. Shelby Herendeen, Director at Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial and Cremation Services and Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial and Cremation Services were present at the meeting to give out the award. Later the Hospice Caregiver Award was dropped off at Grace Hospice where Alexis was able to pick it up and get her photo taken with her award.
Thank you Alexis for all you do as an exceptional Caregiver and we especially recognize how you are going above and beyond during the current pandemic.
Alexis received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Carol Adam was nominated by Kelle Banaag, Branch Director for Grace Hospice
Carol truly has an amazing heart, she goes above and beyond each and everyday with her patients/families and facilities. We receive calls in which patients/facilities are requesting her by name, they have built that bond with her and trust her, in any kind of situation. Carole has only been with us a short time, she has caught on quickly, and is an amazing team player, that would do anything for her co-workers. She truly has a hospice heart.
Due to Covid-19 Pandemic and the requirements for social distancing Carole received her award on June 18 at a Phone-in Staff meeting with Elara Caring Hospice. Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial and Cremation Services was able to present the award over the phone in the phone presence of her co-workers. Later the Hospice Caregiver Award was dropped off at Elara Caring Hospice where Carole was able to pick it up and get her photo taken with her award.
Thank you Carole for all you do as an exceptional Caregiver and we especially recognize how you are going above and beyond during the current pandemic.
Carole received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Jackie was nominated by Corrie Tyler.
Jackie is a wonderful person; it is as simple as that. In every aspect of her life she takes time to care for those around her, and truly listen to what you are saying. This is one of the many reasons she is so good at her job as a Bereavement Coordinator. I have had the pleasure of seeing her walk people through their grief in their own time, as she reassures them in their feelings without ever trying to fix them and offer solutions that they already know. People who are hurting want a listening ear and guidance when they ask for it, and that is exactly what she provides to them. As a coworker, Jackie is well known to be a go-to person to talk to. Her non-judgmental and trustworthy spirit makes you feel like you could share anything with her and know that what you said won't go beyond the walls of her office. Jackie is always willing to help people and fill the gaps with whatever needs to be done. She is constantly doing kind things for those around her, but no one would ever know because she is truly the epitome of Mathew 6:3-4. "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who see what is done is secret, will reward you." For this exact reason it is so important for people like Jackie to be recognized. She does so much and is a pillar of strength for those around her, but she never boasts and instead walks in humility with the many things she helps with. I am so thankful to have Jackie as my coworker, because along with everything previously mentioned she is just a good person; easy to talk to, hard-worker, funny, kind, giving, and much more. Heartland is lucky to have Jackie as an employee, and we are lucky to have her as our coworker and friend.
Due to Covid-19 Pandemic and the requirements for social distancing Jackie received her award on June 23 at a small presentation in the lobby of Heartland Hospice . Pictured from left to right: Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager, Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Jackie Kline, Bereavement Coordinator, Heartland Hospice; and Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes The presentation was videoed and photos were taken to share with her co-workers..
Thank you Jackie for all you do as an exceptional Caregiver and we especially recognize how you are going above and beyond during the current pandemic.
Jackie received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Jessica was nominated by Karen Maze.
Jessica was a delight to know and we always felt comfortable when we knew she was coming to be with Mom whether it was to visit, do her nails, shower her and at the end when she was giving her bed baths. Often Mom would become frustrated and utter words we had never heard, but Jessica was pleasant and never lashed out at Mom. She was caring, loving and very professional in every aspect of her job. When Mom's life was fading, and Jessica was with us, she cried as much as Mom's daughters. She became a dear friend because of her care and concern not only for Mom, but also for Mom's family. We dearly loved Jessica because she was so loving to Mom. She is deserving of this award.
This Photo was taken of Jessica, Tod and Dana during our time of social distancing:
From Left to Right: Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services; Jessica Snyder, Hospice Aide, Kindred Hospice; Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager of Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services
Thank you Jessica for your commitment to those you serve!
Jessica received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Anne received two nominations one from Katelyn Kinkema and a separate nomination from Becky VanDyke.
Anne is an amazing nurse. She came into my family's life at the hardest time for all of us to accept. Anne was there every step of the way. Even on days that she was not scheduled to see him, she called or texted to check in. My grandfather was not on service very long, but Anne made a HUGE impression on all of us that will never be forgotten. His biggest fear was passing in pain. And she made sure he was extremely comfortable, and he passed in peace. That gives all of us peace in return. In his final days, Anne checked in multiple times a day, and stayed well over an hour at all of her visits to make sure he was comfortable, and that we were confident in caring for him. Anne was a blessing to not only my grandfather, but the entire family. She became family in that week he was on hospice. There is no one that deserves this award more than Anne Vantongeren.
Our dad was referred to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. His first visit was December 4, he passed eight days later at home, peacefully. Our nurse, Anne had a way of calming him down by explaining more thoroughly, and talking it out. Anne is a very caring, giving, calming, and a beautiful person. We would like to nominate her for the Hospice Award.
Pictured from left to right: Lisa Langeland Allen, Treasurer, Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Anne Vantongeren, Registered Nurse, Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan; and Shelby Herendeen, LFD, Langeland Family Funeral Homes.
Thank you Anne for your commitment to those you serve!
Anne received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Katelynn received three nominations for the Award, one from Emma Carey and two anonymous nominations.
There are many reasons why Katelynn should be recognized, but one that stands out most to me is her passion for her residents. I met Katelynn in our CNA training course, and it was her smile and welcoming personality that started our friendship. She never stops for anything, and she will fight for her patients. She once strained a ligament in her knee trying to help a resident. She wants the best for not only her residents but her staff too. She is a fierce, compassionate, and loving employee, mom, CNA, and best friend.
Katelynn’s passion for her clients is just truly amazing. She is so caring and her love for her job shows.
Katelynn had helped take care of my mother. My mother was so happy with the care she had received. Katelynn was a blessing to us, the way she takes care of her people is amazing. She is so caring and kindhearted.
Pictured from left to right: Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Katelynn Higgins, Clinical Nurse Assistant, Glenn Arbor, Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan; Greg Langeland, Vice President Langeland Family Funeral Homes.
Thank you Katelynn for your commitment to those you serve!
Katelynn received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Shea was nominated by Thomas Fenwick & Paula Striebel
On behalf of the family of Velva Fenwick we would like to nominate Shea Auge for her Compassion and Exceptional care of our mother, not only did she provide her bath, but also sat and chatted with her, made sure she had fresh water and something to eat. Our mother looked forward for her scheduled days with her. She even offered to come in on days she was not scheduled to help, toward the end of her life, she not only showed the compassion for our mother but also her family. She went above and beyond what her job is. She made our mother’s last few weeks of life more comfortable.
Pictured from left to right: Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Shea Auge, Hospice Aide, Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan; Shelby Herendeen, Licensed Funeral Director, Langeland Family Funeral Homes.
Thank you Shea for your commitment to those you serve!
Shea received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Kelli Vaughan was nominated by Barb Sagara.
Kelli always joked with my mom and watched TV with her. Mom enjoyed the company. Kelli made sure my mom was never alone for more than a short while, which really helped as we have a very small family and couldn’t be there as much as we wanted to be.
Pictured from left to right: Kelli Vaughan, Hospice Aide, Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan - Rose Arbor; and Greg Langeland, Vice President, Langeland Family Funeral Homes
Thank you Kelli for your commitment to those you serve!
Kelli received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Julie Jacobs was nominated by Mark Hochmuth and also received an anonymous nomination.
Julie helped Mom twice a week beginning in March of 2018, and beginning March of this year, three times a week. She bathed Mom twice a week and did light housekeeping once a week. During these times I would take a half hour walk and upon returning would find the two of them sitting on the sofa, as close as possible, engrossed in conversation like life-long friends, actually more like family. She would always let Karen, Mom's nurse know if a new concern arose Julie came four times the last week Mom was at home. The final time she scheduled to prepare Mom for transfer to Rose Arbor. Mom couldn't get ready herself and was beyond my help. Julie did so with love and grace in such a dignified manner - what was witnessed and experienced in those moments I will never forget.
He had misunderstood, or did not hear
Mother was not to be left there
But scheduled to be interred at the time
He proceeded to the funeral line
And followed the official's car
His the second, and last car
In creeping funeral procession
His feelings in possession
And upon arrival at the appointed site
Father's open grave gave no fright
Nor the green urn entering brown earth
Lovers reunited after the dearth
And as sand covered the two of them
He remembered Lake Michigan
Lions Beach, mother impatiently waiting
Father done swimming
At day's end
Fort Custer National Cemetery
There is not a kinder soul on this planet than Julie Jacobs. I have witnessed on more than one occasion the love, care, & compassion she gives to every person she meets. She lights up every room she walks into. Julie has a way of making people feel relaxed and at ease. Whether it be a client who is anxious about someone, assisting them with personal care or a family member who is overwhelmed, sad and tired. Julie knows just what to provide each person with when they need it. It could be anything from lending an ear to giving a much needed hug, Julie is the stability needed in these tough situations. I personally could not have made it through the loss of my grandmother without her. She treated my grandmother as one of her own. That is something I will forever be grateful for. She is the best hospice aide I’ve ever met.
Pictured from left to right: Greg Langeland, Vice President, Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Julie Jacobs, Hospice Aide, Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan
Thank you Julie for your commitment to those you serve!
Julie received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Katie was nominated by Ida and Duane Verschoof.
Katie was Duane’s nurse here at home as well as at Kairos Dwelling before he passed away on June 26th. Both Duane and I thought that we were so lucky to get Katie for his nurse. She always had a smile on her face from the time she came to when she left. Always answered all his and my questions so we understood and encouraged us all along the way until June 26th. We couldn’t have asked for better care and were very pleased with our Katie as well as the rest of care we received from Reverence. (Now known as Ascension At Home - Hospice)
Pictured from left to right: Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Katie Lancaster Registered Nurse, Ascension At Home - Hospice; Greg Langeland, Vice President, Langeland Family Funeral Homes.
Thank you Katie for your commitment to those you serve!
Katie received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.