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.
We invite nominations from peers, friends, patients and their families, and others who feel a particular person excels in his or her profession. Through your nomination, you can provide a special honor to someone who gives so much.
Please take a moment to nominate an individual whose care has touched your heart. This person may be a hospice professional physician, nurse, chaplain, social worker, grief counselor, CNA, healthcare administrative professional or a volunteer.
On October 20, 2021 Nancy Lyon was selected as the 2021 Langeland Hospice Caregiver of the Year. She attended the Hospice Caregiver Awards banquet with her husband Curtis and two of her three sons, Quincy and Matthew. Nancy has worked for Wings of Hope Hospice in Allegan Michigan for 8 years as Certified Nurse Assistant. She was nominated originally for the Langeland monthly Hospice Caregiver award by her collogues at Wings of Hope Hospice and received the November 2020 monthly award. She and the other 11 Hospice Caregiver Awards recipients (as well as including several of their guests) were invited to the annual banquet on October 20, 2021 at the Westside Chapel of Langeland Family Funeral Homes. During the banquet each of the attendees was recognized for their special work as a Hospice Caregiver.
Nancy’s journey towards working at hospice began when her brother was on hospice, and she became his Power of Attorney. She had never thought about working for hospice until after her brother’s passing, months down the road. His death was a traumatic time for her and her family, but she saw how beautiful “the team hospice” was at during his time on the service. She says, “They made it the best for my brother it could possibly be. They were like my bloodline. Each discipline did their part, and this comforted us in this time. This is also where I came to the end of myself and cried out for help to God as I was so broken. And He alone saved me. This is when I knew I wanted to work for hospice and give back what was done for me.” She also shared about how working during the pandemic has reaffirmed things that she has always believed, “To listen to that really small voice in my mind, heart and soul that is bigger than the news, the media and the world around me and the unseen. That death is imminent for all of us, not just hospice patients. The most important person to listen to is not ourselves, but the one who is always there no matter the circumstances and loves far more than we can imagine and forgives all our sins.”
After receiving the Hospice Caregiver of the Year Award Nancy, she began by saying how she glorifies God in all His work and prays that He guides her. “It is my desire to be led by Jesus in all my relationships and I believe He brought me to hospice and He is working out in me, my salvation through faith. That not of myself, He continues to build those relationships for community and family to glorify Him. I am so blessed and my cup overflows”
Other Hospice Caregiver Award winners shared their thoughts as well:
“The most gratifying part of Stephanie’s job is the smiles! It warms her heart when she knows they are looking forward to her visiting, seeing that she can make them feel better at least for a moment.” Stephanie Esman – Home Health Aide - Hospice Care of Southwest MI
Through the challenges of working in a pandemic Crystal shares, “I have learned that when loved ones are unable to see our clients, it’s more important than ever that we are their eyes and ears, and that any piece of contact we can facilitate between clients and their families is such a gift.” Crystal Morrow – Registered Nurse - Elara Caring Hospice
“Helping others in time of need and helping their families and being that smiling, compassionate face that helps them in a time when they need it the most. Every moment is special to me from the time I walk in until the time, I walk out the door, I know I’ve made a difference in someone’s life.” Tina Higdon – Nursing Assistant – Heartland Hospice
“I’ve been changed as a hospice nurse seeing the amazing differences in every client and family and how they move through the death process. It has widened my eyes further to appreciate the awe of how beautifully different we all are in life and death.” Beth Koperdak – Registered Nurse – Hospice Care of Southwest MI
Matt speaks about how his work at hospice has changed him, “My work with hospice has made me more aware of and more concerned about the many ways our society and our health care system fail the people they claim to serve, thus making me into an ever more fierce and more committed advocate.” Matt Gross – Registered Nurse – Hospice Care of Southwest MI
“I was able to care for my mom at her end of life. She often said to me she did’t know how I did this job and I told her, ‘Someone is there to bring people into this world, and someone has to be there to help people out’”. Nichole Schnurr – Registered Nurse – Elara Caring Hospice
CLICK ON A TAB BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE WINNER.
Nikki Warner was nominated for the Langeland Hospice Caregiver Award by Karen Rich.
Nikki is my mom’s home health aide. Knowing my concerns/fears about the things I need to learn to care for my mom in her final days…. Things I have never done, nor expected to do, Nikki jumped in as both a kind and helpful caregiver to my mom as she gently bathed her (always quietly explaining what she was doing) AND as a patient teacher to me. As a hospice caregiver, Nikki has a heart the size of Texas and a disposition that brings out the smiles and humor in what is often a dismal situation. I couldn’t be more grateful for her tender care of my mom in her last days and her equally tender care of me as I strived to provide the care that allowed my mom to spend these days in familiar surroundings, her home, with my dad and visits from all the family who loved her so.
Left to Right: Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services & Nikki Warner, Home Health Aide, Centrica Care Navigators.
Nikki received the Hospice Caregiver Award for January.
Thank you Nikki for all you do as an exceptional Caregiver and we especially recognize how you have gone above and beyond during the pandemic.
Nikki received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Ashely was nominated by Jacque Annen for the Langeland Hospice Caregiver Award.
I would like to nominate Ashley Fort for the Hospice service award. From the time she walked into our house she had my husband Ed, believing that she was there to give him the best care possible. She knew how to engage in conversation with him and not be intimidated because he could be pretty blunt. When he asked her questions about her care for him she was very straightforward. She had a fun sense of humor, which he loved. She even made friends with our dog. As the weeks went on and he experienced more pain, she was so gentle, even though what she had to do was difficult. I never felt like she was trying to just do her job, but she stayed as long as we needed her. She even called me after Ed had passed to give her sympathy and talk about how she enjoyed taking care of Ed. We could not have gone through this difficult journey without her.
Left to Right: Greg Langeland, Vice President of Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services &; Ashley Fort Nursing Assistant, Centrica Care Navigators; and Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services.
Ashley received the Hospice Caregiver Award for November.
Thank you Ashley for all you do as an exceptional Caregiver and we especially recognize how you have gone above and beyond during the pandemic.
Ashley received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Scarlet O'Heran was nominated for the Langeland Hospice Caregiver Award by Catherine Foster.
I am nominating Scarlet O'Heran for the Caregiver award. I have served at two hospice locations, and while I have had the privilege to meet the most outstanding people in this field, I have never met anyone with such a giving spirit and loving heart as Scarlet. She shines through the amount of care she gives to those around her; whether it is her volunteer team, her co-workers, her family or the patients in hospice, Scarlet approaches everyone in her life with a smile. I have been enriched by knowing her, and she is such an inspiration to me both personally and as a volunteer in hospice. I am on the front lines in my interactions with patients, and I sometimes wonder how we will get resources for them. Scarlet never complains, and I often find out later that it was through her efforts that people received what they needed, even though it fell outside of her duties to do so. Scarlet regularly works long hours, even once leaving a family gathering in a different state and driving for hours to make sure a patient had a friendly visit when another volunteer fell through. This kind of commitment to patient care is so rare, but Scarlet does this without resentment and with a genuine heart for the wellbeing of her patients. I am continually in awe of her and inspired by her energy and the love she pours into her job, which is clearly a calling for her. I am honored to know her, and I try to model myself after her. I can only imagine that when this award was created, it was with the sole purpose to give it to someone with her exact qualities. I humbly submit that you can do no better for a recipient, and I ask you to please bestow it upon this very deserving woman for all that she does for her community with the innumerable thanks of those whose lives she has enriched.
Pictured from Left to Right: Scarlet O'Heran, Volunteer Coordinator, Heartland Hospice; Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator of Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services.
We were able to honor Scarlet while social distancing.
Thank you Scarlet for all you do as an exceptional Caregiver and we especially recognize how you are going above and beyond during the current pandemic.
Scarlet received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Cally Matherly was nominated for the Langeland Hospice Caregiver Award by Karen Bainbridge.
Cally was my mother's primary Hospice Nurse while she was in Kairos Dwelling. Staff at Kairos mentioned that Mom was unusually restless this particular morning and had difficulty breathing when they were bathing her. Mom's oxygen saturation was abnormally low in spite of having supplemental oxygen. Fortunately, Cally came to see Mom early in the morning. She looked for kinks in the hose and found none. She kept searching and discovered the top to the humidifier bottle was cross threaded. They had just filled the jar that morning. Cally also stopped in on her day off to check on Mom! On one of her visits I noticed her looking at Mom with such compassion that it brought tears to my eyes. She was very kind to me and kept me informed as to Mom's status.
Left to Right: Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services; Cally Matherly, Registered Nurse, Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan & Tyler Langeland, Licensed Funeral Director, 4th Generation Family Employee.
Cally received the Hospice Caregiver Award for September.
Thank you Cally for all you do as an exceptional Caregiver and we especially recognize how you have gone above and beyond during the pandemic.
Cally received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.