It’s never too late to say Thank You to our nation’s Veterans: even at the end of life Americans across the country celebrate Veterans Day on November 11, a special day to salute the men and women who have bravely served our country in the military. These fellow Americans have made profound sacrifices in defense of freedom and they deserve our heartfelt thanks and appreciation. Honoring our nation’s Veterans includes supporting them throughout their entire lives, especially at the end.
compassionate, high quality care available from the nation’s hospice and palliative care providers. One of the ways we’re making this happen is through our active involvement with We Honor Veterans, an innovative program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization that we created in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs. There is something else that’s important for every American to do – and that is to say, “thank you” to our country’s Veterans. Not just on November 11 but all year long.
As our nation marks Veterans Day, Brookings Health System Hospice Agency deepens our commitment to increase Veterans’ access to the
Ask your friends, neighbors, coworkers and others in your
To all our nation’s Veterans,
community whether they have served in the military, you may be surprised how many have—and thank those who have served for their sacrifice. It surprises many Americans to learn that every day, 1,800 Veterans die. That’s more than 680,000 Veterans every year – or 25 percent of all the people who die in this country annually. If you know a Veteran who is in need of the special care hospice care brings to people facing serious and life-limiting illness, please reach out and help them learn more about care options.
Hospice Team Spotlight Gregg TeBeest has been the hospice chaplain for the past two years. In that role, he provides spiritual care to patients and their families by accompanying them through their life limiting illness while recognizing their unique differences and individuality. He is also available to the hospice staff for their spiritual support needs. He also meets weekly with the interdisciplinary hospice team, where health care professionals from various disciplines meet to discuss the medical, social and emotional/spiritual needs of our patients and their families.
When asked what he enjoys most about working with hospice, Gregg said, “In my interactions with people in the community, I have learned that many people tend to think of hospice as a place where people go to die. They’ll often ask me, ‘Where is hospice? Where do people go who need hospice?’ In reality, hospice is a benefit, not a place. It isn’t about giving up but getting more care when you really need it. It’s more about living than dying. Meeting patients and being welcomed into their lives at a critical time is very humbling and rewarding. I am truly honored as patients and families often share their stories of fear, hope, and meaning through their end of life journeys. Accompanying and assisting them as they explore these important subjects is what I have been called to do. It’s what I love to do.” Gregg’s educational background includes being a Brookings High School graduate, class of 1979. He received his Bachelor of Arts with a double major of Bible and Pastorology from Pillsbury Baptist Bible College, Owatonna, Minn., in 1992. He received a Master of Divinity degree in 1997 from Central Baptist Theological Seminary, in Minneapolis, Minn. He is also currently finishing
the fourth of four units of Clinical Pastoral Education from Avera CPE Center in Sioux Falls with the goal of becoming board certified. Other work history includes: prior to college he was employed by Hy-Vee Food Stores for 15 years serving as a shift manager and dairy manager. He worked in both the Brookings location and the Owatonna, Minn., location. During his seminary years, he was employed by Burns International for six years serving in security at the Pillsbury Center in downtown Minneapolis. After completing seminary, he was the senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Waseca, Minn. for eight years. Gregg and his wife, Lauri have been married for 30 years. She works as the administrative assistant in the office of GHP Systems in Brookings, a manufacturer and supplier of geothermal wellfield products. They have two children, Rachel and Jordan. Rachel is employed by Hudson Physicians of Hudson, Wis., serving as a patient care coordinator. She and her husband, Ryan, live in Roberts, Wis. Ryan is an assistant manager of the Fleet Farm in Oakdale, Minn. Jordan and his fiancé, Monica, live in Brookings. They have a son, Jayden, who is two. Jordan works in the family business at Zesto serving as a cook. Monica is a CNA at Brookview Manor. Jayden is a handful! In his spare time, he and Lauri enjoy riding their Harley Davidson Road King whenever they can. He is a weather enthusiast and has his own weather station (check it out at www.wunderground. com, “Valley View”). He also enjoys fishing, golfing, following the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Wild, and against his better judgment, the Minnesota Vikings (in the closet).
reality, hospice is a benefit, not a place. It isn’t “Inabout giving up but getting more care when you really need it. It’s more about living than dying. ” brookingshealth.org
care can and “Genuine does take place in the medical setting. ” — Pastor Gregg TeBeest
Humanizing Healthcare Pastor Gregg Tebeest Hospice Chaplain The simple stroke of the first incision changed my body forever. It changed me forever. If you’ve ever been ill or needed surgery, then you know what I mean. I’m sure our readership understands. Illness, infirmity, and their treatments are transforming agents, not only physically but emotionally and spiritually, too. When consulting with my surgeon, I had no idea what I was in for. It all sounded so simple. From his viewpoint, it was simple. In a couple of sentences he was able to describe my problem and how to fix it. My surgeon had performed hundreds, if not thousands, of these surgeries. He was one of the best. I left his office feeling confident. In addition, acquaintances who had undergone the same surgery had told me I should be back to normal in no time. It sounded easy. So easy in fact that the day before my surgery I told a coworker that I would be back to work in a couple of weeks. You can imagine, then, how I felt going into the fourth month of a debilitating recovery. Physically, emotionally, and even spiritually I turned inward and became
dysfunctional. I felt anything but normal. I suppose surgeries can be routine for physicians. But there’s nothing routine about the experience of illness or surgery. They are uniquely our own because each person is different. That’s the lesson I learned. One of the pitfalls of the caring professions is that they can be overly professional. In his book, At the Will of the Body, Arthur Frank describes his experience as a cancer patient. He says there is a difference between disease and illness. In medical talk (i.e., professionalism), he says, disease terms are used to reduce the body to physiology. Physiology is something which can be measured. Body temperature, blood pressure, skin texture, the presence of infection, etc., etc. can all be objectified. The danger with medical talk is that taken to the extreme, it objectifies not only the body but the person. The patient’s body becomes the site outside herself where the disease is happening. So she becomes an object and as a result loses her identity. Medical talk is safe because it circumvents the fear,
anxiety, depression, anger, and grief she experiences. It’s easy to hide behind the veil of professionalism. In order to talk about physical illness, patients must often go outside the medical profession. “Perhaps,” says Frank, “medicine should reform itself and learn to share illness talk with patients instead of imposing disease talk on them. ” Treatment, he says, is not care. Care begins when difference is recognized. But recognizing difference takes time. In the medical profession time is a precious commodity. Genuine care can and does take place in the medical setting. I am grateful my family physician didn’t objectify me when I was struggling during my recovery. With his help and the presence of a loving wife, I was able to regain a sense of myself. I believe I am a better person and more competent minister as a result of my experience. It gave me a greater understanding of what genuine care is. And it helped me to appreciate the differences among the patients I now serve. In my next article, I will talk more about these differences and share my belief that care has no recipe.
We Extend Sympathy to the Families of Patients Lost through September 2012: June Steen 6/20/34 - 7/14/12
Donald Rost 7/14/32 - 9/3/12
Grayce Horton 10/6/22 - 7/14/12
Maxine Liebsch 11/14/30 - 9/10/12
Hartley Nordbye 10/6/24 - 7/24/12
Sharon Luze 5/29/40 - 9/10/12
Donna Ritter 1/18/39 - 8/23/12
Virgil Bolstad 1/11/31 - 9/21/12
Margie Wagner Carpenter 4/9/59 - 8/24/12
Bonnie McCord 8/10/35 - 9/26/12
Marie Quam 4/12/41 - 8/30/12 4
Brookings Health System Hospice would like to acknowledge with appreciation the following donations (received through 9/30/12): In Memory of June Steen Betty Wegner In Memory of George Rud Lori Jacobson In Memory of Margie Wagner Carpenter Chris Carpenter In Memory of Marie Quam Wayne Quam
there is no more “However important principal in the field of medicine than to realize the value of every individual...
—Dr. Richard Holm
Alzheimer’s Disease and Value (On respecting all people) By Dr. Richard Holm Hospice Medical Director I remember one evening a few years back when a med student was shadowing me as we examined a failing elderly patient in the emergency room (ER). During our evaluation, it became clear that the patient really was in the ER because he was slightly confused and emotionally upset, not because of heart disease or pneumonia or the like.
to appreciate the mature college professor whose brilliant lectures bring his students to enlightenment. But what is the value of the individual who is losing memory at the end of a full life? What is it that gives value to a person in this society? What will happen when resources of time and money to help care for these people become even more limited?
After we left the patient’s side, the student made a comment that was really quite negative, and I realized at that moment a certain sad truth about how we all seem to appreciate people in this society. The student had devalued the individual not only because of the emotional nature of the problem, but partly because of the patient’s dementia and even, I dare say, because of his age. What is the value of any individual? It is not hard to appreciate the young talent whose life is before her and it looks rosy indeed. And it is not hard to appreciate the middle-life firefighter who has rescued many people caught in a treacherous spot. And it is not hard
This is not to say that we should pour a large amount of our society’s resources into overextending a dying and suffering elderly patient. However there is no more important principal in the field of medicine than to realize the value of every individual, no matter what medical or psychological problem, no matter what mental capacity, and no matter what age or stage of life.
Hospice Volunteer Spotlight Nancy Gries has been a hospice volunteer for three months. She plays music on her keyboard for hospice clients and their families. Nancy has lived in Aurora, S.D., most of her life. She and her husband, Pete, raised three children there: a daughter who now lives in Pierre and two sons who live near-by. Nancy and Pete owned and operated a grocery store in Aurora for 20 years. Nancy also worked at Norm’s Greenhouse and as the Activities Director at Brookview Manor for seven years. While at Brookview Manor, Nancy began playing the piano for residents. She began playing the piano at age five and has been playing by ear for many years. Nancy was drawn to volunteering for hospice after Pete received hospice care a year ago. He died in November 2011. Nancy said, “I wanted to help and playing for clients gives me a good feeling.” Clients also enjoy her playing which often helps them relax, may put a smile on their face or cause a foot to tap. One woman enjoys waving her arm as though conducting the music. “I like bringing clients a little joy,” Nancy says.
Besides volunteering for hospice, Nancy also plays the piano for residents at Brookview Manor and United Living Community. Nancy provides music at her church, enjoys quilting and working in her yard and garden. She especially enjoys spending time with her family. “I just enjoy life.” That joyful spirit comes through in Nancy’s playing and interactions with hospice clients and families. Are you interested in becoming a Hospice Volunteer? We would like to have you join us! Our hospice program utilizes volunteers in a variety of ways at all levels of skill, from providing companionship to a hospice patient and their family, to assisting with meals, to doing administrative work in our office. We are in need of more compassionate and caring men and women. If you’re interested in volunteering, call Mavis at (605) 696-7700 for more information.
Grieving is a process that happens over time and does get better. That process is unique to each of us.
Coping With Grief By Mavis Gehant Hospice Social Worker Grief has repercussions on an emotional, Let’s look at some things that may be physical, spiritual, cognitive and social helpful, remembering that no one level. Grief affects our entire being. Most thing or combination of things will would acknowledge that grief affects eliminate our grief. Grieving is a process us emotionally with deep feelings of that happens over time and does get sadness. There are other emotions as better. That process is unique to each of well including anger, regret, guilt, relief, us. Comparing notes with how others irritability, jealousy, loneliness, feeling grieve can be helpful but should not be overwhelmed and more. Physically we the standard by which we measure our can be affected with difficulty sleeping, own grieving. There are things that we decreased appetite or “eating every time can do to take care of ourselves and to I walk through the kitchen.” There may help us cope. be a sense of heaviness in the chest, 1) We need rest! This is not a time to various digestive disorders, headaches take on additional projects or have the or feeling as though “everything hurts”. family over for the big dinner if we are Cognitively we find it difficult to not up for it. Aiming for seven to eight focus; we become forgetful, we want hours of sleep and dimming the lighting to tell our loved one something and in our homes before bedtime as well then remember he or she is not there. as avoiding watching TV or being on Spiritually some of us may feel an the computer before bed can set the alienation from God, a questioning of stage for restful sleep. Watching TV or faith that has never surfaced before. being on the computer before bed can Some of us may be drawn even more stimulate our brains to be more active into the heart of our faith and whereas dim lights let our brains know faith community. it’s time for the body to relax and rest. Socially we find ourselves as the “odd party” for the usual couples’ activities such as card parties. It is harder to attend events because some of our acquaintances find it awkward to be around us. They don’t seem to know what to say. Life seems to get so much harder in so many ways. Just getting through the day feels as though it takes so much effort.
2) One grieving woman said, “I have to
remind myself to eat because I have no appetite.” We may also have to remind ourselves to drink water. It’s easy to get dehydrated when we aren’t thinking about taking in water and food. Sometimes six small meals a day versus the usual big three is easier to manage.
3) Exercise in the morning or afternoon
is better for us than exercise before bed which may energize us too much to sleep. A brisk walk is free and helps us feel better physically, emotionally and mentally.
4) Cry when we have to. Laugh when
we can. Tears shed because of emotion have a different chemical component than those shed while peeling onions. It’s good to SHED them! Laughter shakes our insides and helps us feel better. A smile relaxes our bodies.
5) Socializing with others can have
terrific benefits as we tell our story and get empathic responses. But even conversations in which we do not express our grief help us feel “normal” and give us an opportunity to interact socially. It “gets us outside of ourselves” for a time and can energize us.
6) Having a daily schedule with specific
activities, no matter how mundane, can help keep us grounded. A day looming ahead without anything specific to do and no routine can leave us feeling unimportant, perhaps overwhelmed and allows for way too much time to feel sad or lonely.
Grieving is hard, tiring work but grief does improve. There are ways we can help ourselves to stay more balanced and to feel better.
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Hospice News is published by Brookings Health System. This publication in no way seeks to serve as substitute for professional medical care. Consult your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.
Upcoming Events November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. Hospice Volunteer Meeting……………………………Last Monday of each month New Hospice Volunteer Training…………………………Oct. 25 and Nov.1 5-7 p.m. (Call Mavis for more info at (605) 696-7700)