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, CNA, healthcare administrative professional or a volunteer.
Langeland Family Funeral Homes hosted the Fourth Annual Hospice Caregiver Award Banquet on October 9, 2019. The twelve-monthly award winners were invited to an evening of gratitude for their service and to select the Langeland Hospice Caregiver for 2019. Wendy Miller an RN with SouthernCare Hospice was selected as the Langeland 2019 Hospice Caregiver of the Year. She attended the banquet with her husband, Matt and two friends and co-workers from SouthernCare, Jenny Henley and Julie Gimbel. Wendy lives in Portage with her husband and three children. She was very honored to receive the award and expressed how this award shows validation for the work of hospice and a connection with our community. Wendy sees it as a special way to pass the love along.
This is what Wendy shares about her work in hospice:
“When I tell people what my job is, I am often greeted with sad faces and words of “oh how sad” or “your job must be so hard”. But I do not find my job to be hard. It is sad from time to time, this is true. But mostly, especially after I have spent many hours with families, and my patients have passed peacefully and comfortably surrounded by loved ones; I find an overwhelming sense of calming reward and inner peace by helping these families find understanding and acceptance of their loved ones passing.”
Langeland Family Funeral Homes expresses their sincere thanks for Wendy and all the Hospice Caregivers for the service they provide to those who going through these most difficult times of their lives as a patient and as a family member.
Following are quotes from other monthly Hospice Caregiver award winners who attended the banquet:
“I cherish life, every second, because of my Hospice experiences. I consciously try to live in the moment. I value the wisdom and knowledge of the elderly.” Hilary Smith, Social Worker, Grace Hospice
“Working at hospice has impacted me by showing me the understanding of families and no family is perfect and to be kind and understanding.” Kelli Owens, Clinical Nurse Assistant, Great Lakes Caring Hospice
“I feel grateful when leaving a home after a visit, knowing that, with God’s help, I have been able to meet a physical, emotional or spiritual need that is a concern that day, leading to increased comfort for the patient and/or the caregiver. It is important to me that they feel as if they were the most important visit of my day!” Donna Coots, Registered Nurse, Wings of Hope Hospice
“I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to work for such a wonderful company with so many fantastic team members. I think my journey begins there. Everything else falls into place. Everyday is special and all of our patients are special. My favorite story, I love what I do.” Karen Wilcox, Licensed Practical Nurse, Great Lakes Caring Hospice
“Being nominated for this award feels pretty special. I say this mostly because while I do remember the patient and family who nominated me, I do not remember doing anything above or beyond what my fellow coworkers and I do every single day. It is humbling to think about what a huge impact we can leave on others on what feels like just an ordinary shift.” Katie Bonita, Registered Nurse Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan – Rose Arbor
“If I can share one special moment with a person in a song, a story; a laugh; a smile; a dance; holding hands or sitting in silence to help bring an atmosphere of dignity to dying, then I have been blessed. Barbara Gillespie, volunteer, Heartland Hospice
“I loved their mission and wanted to play any part possible to help carry it out. I am impacted every day by the people I work with. People that work in hospice care have an incredible amount of compassion in them and makes coming to work a joy.” Amy Chestnut, Fundraising Coordinator, Wings of Hope Hospice
I often see people at their worst times when they have lost all hope. I have met so many families that were scared and afraid to care for their loved ones. As rapport is built with families and the patients, I see them get more comfortable. Patients become comfortable and it brings about a new sense of peace.” Karen Tennant, Registered Nurse, Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan
CLICK ON A TAB BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE WINNER.
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.
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. Anonymous
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. Anonymous
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.