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HOSPICE CAREGIVER AWARDS ANNUAL BANQUET
OCTOBER 3, 2018 BANQUET
On October 3, Langeland Family Funeral Homes hosted their 3rd annual Langeland Hospice Caregivers Awards Banquet. This banquet is to honor the monthly Hospice Caregiver Award winners that were presented over the past year. Roxanne James a Hospice Aide for Hospice Care of Southwest MI – Rose Arbor, was selected as the Langeland Hospice Caregiver for 2018. Unfortunately Roxanne was not able to attend the banquet but she sent two of her co-workers from Hospice Care of Southwest MI – Rose Arbor in her place. Attending in Roxanne’s stead were Heidi Hotchkiss who works at Rose Arbor and Pam Hart a volunteer at Rose Arbor. They were both excited for Roxanne and felt that the award was very well deserved.
Dana Naumann, the Bereavement Care Coordinator, reached Roxanne by phone after the banquet to speak with her about the 2018 Hospice Caregiver Award. Roxanne said she appreciates the award very much and is also very humbled by it. She insisted that there are many others who are more deserving of this honor. She went on to talk about the amazing team that she works with at Rose Arbor. “No one talks about each other; we take care of each other and work so well together.” This includes both the paid employees and the volunteers who are such a valuable resource for Rose Arbor. Roxanne expressed her passion about her hospice work. “Working at hospice is not a job, it is a calling.”
Initially Roxanne was not sure she wanted to work in hospice, but a good friend of hers who is a nurse and knows her well told her, “It is everything you want to do.” So she applied at Rose Arbor and said from the moment she walked in the door she knew she belonged and that she would work there until her retirement. That was 15 years ago.
Roxanne also knows personally what it is like to take care of a loved one who is dying. Her mother lived with her for four years before her death and spent six months at Rose Arbor. She remembers how difficult it was physically and emotionally, but she also remembers the sweet and funny times they had together when they could not stop laughing over an unexpected event. After her mother’s death last year she said, “Now I truly get it; when family members say, ‘I can’t get my breath, I feel like I am dying.’” She sees this now as another facet to how she can be there for others.
When Roxanne was asked to describe what she does to unwind from her hospice work she described her home. She lives on 40 acres in Lawton and loves to spend time outside in nature. She also does a little bit of animal rescue on the side. She has a rescued horse and donkey and recently acquired a calf in trade for a tractor. Roxanne is always focused on how she can assist those around her. Roxanne is also a mother to four and a grandmother to six. She says her family is very close and the grandchildren love coming and spending time on the property.
Roxanne was nominated by one of the families of a patient she cared for. She is so thankful that she is able to help these families in their time of need. She is also very thankful for what these families have taught her over the years. She said, “I learned to have a more positive attitude. I learned to have more patience. I learned to be a much better listener, and I learned to be more compassionate.” They have all left an imprint on her life.
It is Langeland Family Funeral Homes pleasure to bring special recognition to our area’s hospice caregivers. These individuals give of themselves every day and play such a significant role in families’ lives. It is our desire to give an opportunity for people to share how much an individual has touched theirs and others’ lives with their caring.
Langelands is currently taking nominations for the monthly Hospice Caregiver Award which will be recognized at a banquet in 2019. Go to www.langelands.com to submit a nomination.
Langelands recognizes the important role that clergy play in our community as they walk beside people through the ups and the downs of life. Death is one of these critical times when individuals and families need this special encouragement. As Langelands looks to the clergy for this special care we also want to partner and support our area clergy in their essential role. It is out of this desire that we host the Clergy Breakfast every other year. The breakfast is an opportunity for clergy to come together as they share many of the same burdens. Langelands brings in a special speaker for the breakfast who shares about some aspect of loss, death and funeral topics.
Past Speakers at Clergy Breakfasts - Dr. John Canine author of The Challenge of Living; Michael Spehn author of The Color of Rain; Dr. Robert Devries & Dr. Susan Zonnebelt-Smeenge author of numerous books on grieving including Traveling through Grief: Learning to Live Again After the Death of a Loved One; and Rev. Dr. Thomas Long author of numerous books on preaching and exegesis including The Good Funeral: Death, Grief, and the Community of Care.
Some the comments shared by clergy who have attended a Langeland Clergy Breakfast:
“Relevant subject matter, knowledgeable speakers, and opportunity to make connections with other clergy”
“Timing, setting, breakfast, speakers and the welcome from the staff was great!”
“The subject matter of the Breakfast and the contacts made were very beneficial.”