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.
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.
In October 2019 the Hospice Caregiver of 2019 will be announced at a special reception honoring all the award recipients of the past year. The Caregiver of the Year will receive a gift certificate for dinner and overnight accommodations.
Do you know a special Caregiver? Nominate them today!
Barb was nominated by Scarlet O'Heran, Volunteer Coordinator - Heartland Hospice
Barb has been a volunteer with our organization for almost 16 years. Barb serves in the capacity of friendly visitor of hospice patients. She has an ability to meet patients where they are emotionally and physically. Her dedication, compassion, humility and service is an inspiration to our entire team here at Heartland. She was quoted to say "If I can share one special moment with a person in a song, a story, a laugh, or a smile, to help bring an atmosphere of dignity to a dying patient, then I have been blessed." Barb has walked with over 150 patients to the end of their life, with beauty, grace and love she continues to make a difference in those last days.
Pictured from left to right: Greg Langeland, Vice Presisdent, Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Barb Gillespie, Volunteer, Heartland Hospice; Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes.
Thank you Barb for your commitment to those you serve!
Barb received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Katie was nominated by Cheryl Hawkes on behalf of the Poortenga Family
Katie was the first nurse we met when our Mom arrived at Rose Arbor. She was very gentle and loving with Mom and knew exactly how to help her. She had a sweet, caring, and a welcoming nature that was a blessing to our family during this difficult time. It was comforting that she was also the nurse with Mom when she passed. It takes a special, loving, caring person to work at a hospice facility and we are thankful for Katie and the blessings she brought to our family.
Pictured from left to right: Lisa Langeland Allen, Treasurer, Langeland Family funeral Homes; Katie Bonita, Registered Nurse, Rose Arbor - Hospice Care of Southwest MI; Shelby Herendeen, Langeland Family Certified Funeral Apprentice.
Thank you Katie for your commitment to those you serve!
Congratulations to our May 2019 Caregiver Award recipient Katie Bonita.
Katie received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Karen was nominated by Bonnie Langeland.
Karen went above and beyond caring for my aunt –
She was so helpful. Couldn’t have gotten thru some nights without her help.
Pictured from left to right: Lisa Langeland Allan, Treasurer of Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Karen Wilcox, LPN, Great Lakes Caring Hospice; and Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes.
Thank you Karen for your commitment to those you serve!
Congratulations to our April Caregiver Award recipient Karen Wilcox.
Karen received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Donna was nominated by Jack and Rosemary Nicewander.
Mrs. Coots made the enrollment very smooth, knows her job very well, and is a very Caring and Kind Hearted Person.
Pictured from left to right: Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langelands Family Funeral Homes; Donna Coots, RN, Wings of Hope Hospice; Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager, Langeland Family Funeral Homes.
Thank you Donna for your commitment to those you serve!
Congratulations to our March Caregiver Award recipient Donna Coots.
Donna received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Wendy was nominated by Susan Henderson
Wendy, from SouthernCare Hospice was our mom’s Hospice nurse during her last 4-5 months of life. We appreciated Wendy’s availability, her patience with us when answering all our many questions and listening to our concerns. We also appreciated her willingness to look for solutions that fit not only our mom’s conditions but our desires for her comfort and care as well. She spoke with our mom and our family in a very direct but caring way, allowing us whatever time we needed to process or explain our thoughts and feelings as well as process our grief. Wendy arrived in my mom’s life at a time when her care was not going well - her medications were not being handled professionally or appropriately, and the Hospice team stepped in and skillfully took over that part of her care as part of their service. As a result, our mom’s medications were faithfully provided and monitored, and were often changed as mom’s physical decline warranted it. Wendy followed through regularly with the facility’s staff, training and explaining as she interacted with them, to ensure that our mom was receiving the best possible care. Shortly after my mom’s passing, Wendy came, and while only two family members were present at that time, she waited over an hour until my husband and I arrived before calling the funeral home to come and pick up our mom’s body. We greatly appreciated her giving us this extra time in her schedule – it allowed me the time to not only grieve my mom’s passing before her body was removed but allowed me the time to talk with Wendy as well – to achieve closure. I was the family member who was present for most of the Hospice visits, meaning I had a lot of interaction with Wendy, and her caring and compassion for me became very important to me. She is a gem. While our family is very grateful for all the folks at SouthernCare Hospice we are most grateful for Wendy sharing her life and her skills with us through a very difficult time. She poured into our family and showed a love for us and for my mom far above what many medical professionals share. She was a huge blessing to us and we thank her for loving my mom while caring for her, and for loving and caring for the rest of our family as well. Thank you, Wendy, and To God Be the Glory.
Pictured from Left to Right:
Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager of Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Wendy Miller, Registered Nurse, SouthernCare Hospice; Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes.
Thank you Wendy for your commitment to those you serve!
Congratulations to our February Caregiver Award recipient Wendy Miller.
Wendy received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Kelli was nominated two separate families by Tarina Macklem and also by Cindy Johannes.
Kelli was our Mom’s hospice support. She spent extra time and extra care with Peggy. Her loving attitude made a very difficult time for us and Mom easier. She communicated every step of the way. Kelli would ask advice as well as listen to all Peggy’s idea. Anyone who has Kelli for care at a most difficult time is lucky to have her. That is why Kelli deserves every good thing that may happen to her.
- Tarina Macklem
Kelli cared for dad for 5 months. She is a very caring and giving person. She treated dad with great respect and that made him feel very special as he was on his final journey. Kelli saw dad 5 days a week for all his personal care and to feed him daily breakfast. She not only was there for dad but also for us his daughters. She prepared us for everything we should expect and taught us how to respond for every issue that dad should have. She was there also after work hours to check on dad and always made sure we knew how to contact her at home with any questions that might arise. She is very dedicated to her work but mostly to her clients. As this was our first experience with death, she certainly made things easier with her love and compassion. We would certainly request Kelli again if the need arose and suggest she be nominated for this award as she is very deserving of so much more. She was our angel in what has to be the most difficult time in ones life. Thank you Kelli, we love you very much!!!
- Cindy Johannes
Pictured from left to right: Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Kelli Owens, Clinical Nurse Assistant, Great Lakes Caring Hospice; Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager of Langeland Family Funeral Homes.
Thank you Kelli for your commitment to those you serve!
Congratulations to our January 2019 Caregiver Award recipient Kelli Owens.
Kelli received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Hilary was nominated by Donna Campbell.
Compassion, explanations, care, help, peace...These are all words that describes what I see when our Grace Hospice LMSW Hilary Smith is involved with her patient and their family or caregivers. Our Mission is for each employee to treat every patient as their own treasured loved one, providing care that affords a quality of life that outweighs quantity of days and supports caregivers as their hearts find healing. Hilary lives by this Mission, whether it be helping a patient get a scooter, having a 'last swim' for a patient in her lake that was brought inside, or just an ear to listen. Her compassion and understanding makes her a true advocate for the patients and families that we are privileged to serve in this most precious of times.
Pictured from left to right: Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Hilary Smith, Social Worker, Grace Hospice; Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager, Langeland Family Funeral Homes.
Congratulations to our December Caregiver Award recipient HilarySmith.
Hilary received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Lindsey was nominated by Bonnie Langeland.
Lindsey was nurse in charge of my Aunt – She went above and beyond to help us. Because of Lindsey and her group I was able to keep my Aunt at home (as I promised her) until she passed. Could not have done that without Great Lake, Lindsey and the other girls.
So Grateful –
Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager of Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Bonnie Langeland; Lindsey McCoy, Registered Nurse, Great Lakes Caring Hospice; & Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes.
Thank you Lindsey for your commitment to those you serve!
Congratulations to our November 2018 Caregiver Award recipient Lindsey McCoy.
Lindsey received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Sherline was nominated twice – once by Tom Zemrowski and again by The Dunfield Family.
All the staff at Rose Arbor are wonderful, caring people who truly do their very best for hospice residents and their families.
Sherline stands out among them to me as the most memorable. She was so kind and loving to my wife Carol. Sherline bathed her even stopped by after March 31 to visit each day. (On April 1st the staff rotated for the next 6 months to the east end of Rose Arbor).
Sherline is the best!
- Tom Turman
Sherline is SO kind and compassionate. She took fantastic care of my Dad when he was at Rose Arbor. She was wonderful!! She helped out our family and friends too. She always had a smile on her face. She’s ONE IN A MILLION! Right on :)
- The Dunfield Family
Pictured from left to right: Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Sherline Turman, Hospice Aide, Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan – Rose Arbor; and Shelby Baas, Langeland Family Funeral Homes.
Congratulations to our October 2018 Caregiver Award recipient Sherline Turman.
Sherline received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Ellen was nominated by Jackie Kline and Heartland Hospice Staff.
I would like to nominate Heartland Hospice chaplain, Ellen Laan, for the Langeland Hospice Caregiver Award. From the moment you meet Ellen you know there’s something special about her. She is one of the most caring, giving and loving individuals I have had the pleasure of knowing. She goes about above and beyond to care for our patients, their families and her co-workers. From hand-written cards, to candy, cakes, lunch, chickens, etc…she cares for people! Here are some examples of Ellen’s generous spirit…
“We are so blessed that God allowed her to be with us. She goes at night, during the day and if she knows someone needs her gift of “presence” she will be there. She’ll bring frogs (“stuffed”), teddy bears, whatever would ease someone’s pain or fears. If she can bring a smile to anyone she will! I have been so blessed to watch her in action. She also supports the nursing staff by prayers and remembering who we are, not what we didn’t do. We are so very lucky to have her.” Pam Simpson-Taylor, RN
“Ellen is great!! She is a source of comfort and support not only to our patients and families, but to employees of Heartland Hospice. The care that we provide can be trying at times or we have things we are going through in our personal lives. It all matters to her, and she will stop in the moment and pray with us!” Brooke Randall, RN
“I too feel that Ellen should receive the award. Yesterday was a trying day. Ellen came in to see my Aunt and minister to all who were there. She shared favorite scripture and songs with my relatives. I feel they were so touched to know my Aunt’s choices. What a singing voice when she sang my Aunt’s favorite song! I could see how touched my Aunt from Missouri was at the ministry.” Dawn Klinkers, Team Coordinator
“I do her timesheets and she constantly puts in 12 to 16 hour days and also a lot of times works on the weekends. I have also seen several times that she was called out in the middle of the night at 2:00am and went and assisted with care even when it wasn’t her patient.” Julie Thomson, Team Coordinator
“I have seen firsthand the impact that Ellen Laan has on not only our patients and their families, but even on Costco employees! During a recent trip to pick up supplies with Ellen I was witness to employees’ firsthand knowledge of Ellen. The interaction was amazing. Ellen knew each one’s name and their family dynamics. Each employee treated her as close friend and each was amazed that she was not picking up rotisserie chickens for her patients on that day. Ellen has a way of making each person that she runs into, her fellow employees, or patients, feel loved and cared for. She is never too busy to listen and pray over you. She lives to love others.” Scarlet O’Heran, Volunteer Coordinator.
From left to right: Tyler Langeland, Licensed Director Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Ellen Laan, Chaplain; Heartland Hospice & Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes.
Thank you Ellen for your commitment to those you serve!
Congratulations to our September 2018 Caregiver Award recipient Ellen Laan.
Ellen received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.