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.
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.
CLICK ON A TAB BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE WINNER.
Laura was nominated by Betty Jo Ferry and her Collogues at Wings of Hope Hospice.
"Laura is our Clinical Liaison and has been with Wings of Hope Hospice for a year in April. She hit the ground running and cultivated good working relationships with our referral sources. When Covid hit, her approach had to change but she persevered and continued to do her job virtually. Laura is not afraid of hard work and has an excellent work ethic. If there is an urgent need Laura is always there. Laura has helped in taking referrals and gladly does informational visits when needed. On Christmas Eve 2020, Laura worked late so that a patient could be out of the hospital and admitted to hospice by Christmas Day. Laura goes above and beyond every day! Her smile and willingness to help others is outstanding. She is a valuable and valued member of our team. We don't know what we did without her! We would like to see her honored for all she does. She is a humble person and will be very surprised by this award. Thank you. From her coworkers: "Laura always goes above and beyond the call of duty, she’s always willing to help out no matter the situation. She meets you with a smile and with eagerness to help. She’s a true gem." “Laura makes a great first impression for Wings of Hope wherever she is, whether in a doctor’s office, facility, a family’s home or We Honor Vets ceremony. She is smart, personable and a quality person.” “Laura, you are a gift to WOHH. Your cheerful attitude, willingness to quickly adjust to changes in your job without hesitation, always being willing to help out doing whatever and whenever you can has made you an invaluable part of the team! I personally appreciate the calls you have given me on the weekend to help with gathering information on referrals and admissions when I have been swamped and you didn’t even know it! Your response: “I am always willing to do what I can to make the nurses’ jobs easier!” Thank you!!!” “She so deserves it!! Laura is always willing to help out and get patients on the services they need. She deeply cares for people and our patients. She is willing to not only go the extra miles but drive the extra miles to help get patients on service. “ “Laura has great energy. She is kind, positive and very competent of the various roles at Wings. Her eagerness to help has been a gift to many, including the inaugural Night of Hope Online Auction.” “Laura is simply amazing! She has a gift of making you feel like you have her whole attention and really listens, leaves you feeling good. She is also passionate about her job.”"
Left to Right: Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services; Laura Toweson, Clinical Liaison, Wings of Hope Hospice; Shelby Herendeen, a Langeland Licensed Funeral Director/Fourth Generation Family Employee.
Laura received the Hospice Caregiver Award for May while social distancing outside in the presence of some of her coworkers.
Thank you Laura for all you do as an exceptional Caregiver and we especially recognize how you are going above and beyond during the current pandemic.
Laura received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Catherine was nominated by Scarlet O'Heran for the Hospice Caregiver Award.
I am nominating Catherine because of her heart to serve hospice patients and their families. As many volunteers are stepping back from any form of involvement during this uncertain time, Catherine continues to look for opportunities to make a difference in the lives of our patients. Catherine actively searched for a way to make an impact, even with restrictions being enforced with facilities, and her duties changing from in person to connecting via phone. Catherine began calling home patients as a way to fulfill their physical (supply requests) and emotional needs from afar. Each week her patients know that they will be checked in on, listened to, and receive Catherine’s very best. Catherine continues to be open and willing to help in any way, including adding six month bereavement calls to her volunteering. At every turn Catherine has come back with, “What can I do to make life a little better for those who are hurting and in need”. When Catherine picks up a phone to call a patient, she is able to communicate that she cares about them and they are not alone in their journey. Thank you for your consideration of this wonderful lady.
Pictured from Left to Right: Catherine Foster, Hospice Volunteer, Heartland Hospice; Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator of Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services.
We were able to honor Catherine while staying safe.
Thank you Catherine for all you do as an exceptional Volunteer Caregiver and we especially recognize how you are going above and beyond during the current pandemic.
Catherine received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Julie was nominated for the Hospice Caregiver Award by Amanda Parsons.
I would like to nominate Julie Ferguson BSN RN, She is the director for Compassus Hospice, Not only is she the director she has been doing visits as an RN and taking on call at nights and working the weekends when times are tough and we have staffing issues. Julie goes above and beyond her job description to help everyone on her team.
Pictured from Left to Right: Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator of Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services; Julie Ferguson, Director & Registered Nurse, Compassus Hospice; and Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager of Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services.
We were able to honor Julie while staying safe.
Thank you Julie for all you do as an exceptional Caregiver and we especially recognize how you are going above and beyond during the current pandemic.
Julie received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Tina was nominated for the Hospice Caregiver Award by Ashmeeta Madhav.
Tina took exceptional care of my husband Bhipin as his body deteriorated from pancreatic cancer. She was patient, caring & empathetic. Many people gave up on him but Tina patiently tolerated his needs and assisted him. Words cannot express the gratitude we feel towards Tina for all she has done for Bhipin Madhav. GOD Bless her kind heart.
Pictured from Left to Right: Tina Higdon, CENA, Heartland Hospice; Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator of Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services and Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager of Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services.
We were able to honor Tina while social distancing.
Thank you Tina for all you do as an exceptional Caregiver and we especially recognize how you are going above and beyond during the current pandemic.
Tina received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Nichole was nominated by Holly Patterson for the Hospice Caregiver Award.
Nichole is a wonderful example of a nurse who truly loves what she does and is compassionate about caring for people. She provides hospice education and care to our patients, and families. Nichole has grown her compassion for hospice through personal experiences, work experience, and has shown her compassion through mentoring and providing direct care. Nichole is a beautiful person and exceptional nurse. I am proud to work beside her and I am grateful for her shared knowledge and continued support.
Due to Covid-19 Pandemic and the requirements for social distancing Nichole Schnurr received her award on January 8 at a Phone-in Staff meeting with Elara Caring Hospice. Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, and Shelby Herendeen, Licensed Funeral Director & 4th Generation Langeland Family Member from Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial and Cremation Services were able to present the award over the phone in the hearing of her co-workers. Nichole picked up her Hospice Caregiver Award at Elara Caring Hospice and shared her photo with us.
Thank you Nichole for all you do as an exceptional Caregiver and we especially recognize how you are going above and beyond during the current pandemic.
Nichole received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Matt was nominated for the Hospice Caregiver Award by three separate individuals for the care of their family members: Joanne Brown & Kathy VanGoeye; Lisa Butcher; and Robyn Killips.
From the moment we met Matt, we noticed his calm and professional demeanor. We appreciated his clarity and thoughtfulness in helping us make decisions. His kind and gentle in approach in caring for our mom and the way he met her where she was each day was comforting to all of us. We can never thank him enough for helping us navigate through this difficult time. Our mom was in Assisted Living at the Vineyards during her hospice case. He was well received by the workers at Vineyards and they readily took his lead. Matt has a definite calling to this profession and it shows. Thank you Hospice of Southwest Michigan for sharing Matt with us and thank you Langelands for giving us the opportunity to nominate Matt!
- Joanne Brown & Kathy VanGoeye
This was our first experience with hospice and words cannot express how thankful we are that Matt was there by our side. My mom was in an assisted living facility and due to Covid we had not been able to see her since March. She had a couple of falls and was not eating, the assisted living facility recommended that we call hospice to help her with some of her health issues. We signed papers with hospice the afternoon of Friday 9/25 and Matt visited my mom the morning of Monday 9/28. By noon on that day she had a new bed and a shower seat, by the end of the week she had a new wheelchair. Matt was in contact with me and made me feel very comfortable with texting him at any time that I had any questions. Unfortunately my mom was not well and he had said she had maybe a few weeks to a month left to live unless she started to eat. As the days moved by I could tell by just my window visits with my mom that she was failing fast. I had texted Matt early the morning of Monday 10/5 as I had seen a change in just the few days over the weekend. He called me later that day and worked with the facility so that we were able to get into my mom's room and be by her side. Unfortunately she passed away on Wednesday 10/7 but without Matt's support we would not have been able to be by her side for her last days. I will be forever be grateful to him as I would have struggled knowing that I was not there for her. Matt was straight up on her condition, told us what to expect and was spot on. His professionalism, poise and sympathy at the end were top notch. Hospice of Southwest Michigan, you are lucky to have Matt as part of your staff. THANK YOU Matt for caring for my mom during her last days, there are not enough words to express our gratitude. God Bless all of our hospice workers.
Matt was truly amazing. He was very compassionate and encouraging, giving us opinions and walking us thru the many stages my mom went thru. He was gentle yet very honest with us. He laughed with us and cried with us. I truly felt he loved my mom and treated her with so much care and compassion. He felt like a part of our family and we miss him!
Matt Gross Registered Nurse at Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan received the Hospice Caregiver Award for December while social distancing.
Shelby Herendeen, a Langelands Licensed Funeral Director/Fourth Generation Family Employee and Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator presented the award to Matt outside in the presence of some of his coworkers.
Thank you Matt for all you do as an exceptional Caregiver and we especially recognize how you are going above and beyond during the current pandemic.
Matt received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever he would like.
Nancy was nominated by her colleagues at Wings of Hope Hospice for the Hospice Caregiver Award
Nancy Lyon gracefully balances her roles of wife, mother, active church member and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at Wings of Hope Hospice. She has a positive, sunny disposition and is frequently mentioned by the families she serves as an aide who helps to lift their spirits.
In caring for the patient’s personal hygiene needs, Nancy is always respectful of the person and the body. Whether changing linens, bathing or dressing a patient, she has the knack for moving the body in a way that brings the least discomfort. She often brings calm by using lotions and essential oils in her massages. Whether changing a brief, washing hair or brushing teeth, she often leaves the patient and family with a smile.
Considering the frequency with which a CNA and patient interact, and the intimacy of the service, a strong bond between the two often develops. Nancy Lyon has said, “The CNA is building trust with a patient in an intimate act of care.” People actually relax in experiencing the gentle touch of a CNA.
Nancy sometimes bathes a body after death occurs before the family arrives or before it goes off to the funeral director. This intimate last rite of loving respect has brought comfort and dignity to sorrowful scenes.
Our Nancy sees the spiritual significance of her hospice work as being the hands and feet of Jesus. We love and respect her. We recommend her for the Hospice Caregiver Award.
- Colleagues at Wings of Hope
Pictured from Left to Right: Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator of Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services and Nancy Lyon, Certified Nursing Assistant, Wings of Hope Hospice
We were able to honor Nancy while social distancing.
Thank you Nancy for all you do as an exceptional Caregiver and we especially recognize how you are going above and beyond during the current pandemic.
Nancy received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Amy Neujahr was nominated by Fred Dutton for the Hospice Caregiver Award.
While the overall service at Rose Arbor was exemplary and the entire staff kind and supportive, one person stood out. Amy Neujahr, RN was that special person who could make my mother smile and even laugh. On one occasion she did this by singing to Mom and at other times by telling her stories – some about herself. I laughed too! This is quite an accomplishment in an environment where people are waiting to die.
Pictured from Left to Right: Tyler Langeland, Licensed Funeral Director of Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services; Amy Neujahr, Registered Nurse at Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan - Rose Arbor and Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator of Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services.
We were able to honor Amy while social distancing.
Thank you Amy for all you do as an exceptional Caregiver and we especially recognize how you are going above and beyond during the current pandemic.
Amy received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
Stephanie Esman received an anonymous nomination for the Hospice Caregiver Award.
I watched Stephanie go above and beyond with being so sweet and helpful. My “dad” just loves her says that’s the only thing he looks forward to is her coming. She makes a difference to my dad and I’m sure many others with her gentle touch and sweet nature.
Pictured from Left to Right: Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager of Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services; Stephanie Esman, Home Health Aide at Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan and Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator of Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services.
We were able to honor Stephanie while social distancing.
Thank you Stephanie for all you do as an exceptional Caregiver and we especially recognize how you are going above and beyond during the current pandemic.
Stephanie received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.
You are welcome to call us any time of the day, any day of the week, for immediate assistance. Or, visit our funeral home in person at your convenience.