Wednesday, December 13, 2017
News Roundup

LifePath Hospice volunteers learn life is beautiful, fleeting

LifePath Hospice volunteer Esther Zeigler, 77, still remembers the enthusiastic welcome she got from her first patient when she arrived.

"She would be so happy to see me and just clap her hands, "Zeigler said. "She did me more good than I did her."

Now having served with hospice for over a year she concludes that giving others the sense of well-being has its own far-reaching benefits.

Through the many requests of their patients, volunteers have learned to take stock of the beauty of living in the moment. For some patients it's the wish to be outside and feel the thrill of sunshine on their feet after being shut away from the golden warmth.

Zeigler believes that helping others is vital.

"It fills you. It completes our existence to reach out to others."

Local hospice volunteers from Plant City often receive thanks for their service, but during this Thanksgiving weekend, they're expressing gratitude for the opportunity they have to help others.

Although the job of assisting patients during their final days could be seen as sad, they say it is a task that helps them embrace their own lives more fully.

Zeigler shares her volunteering enthusiasm with her friend Beatrice Crowell, 75. It was Crowell, a 15-year veteran of hospice volunteering, who persuaded her to join. Crowell, a retired Hillsborough County teacher, says volunteering or helping others is as natural to her as breathing. It's something that her own mother modeled throughout her life, serving as president of the Bryant-Phillip American Legion Auxiliary #215 in Jasper for 40 years.

"I love volunteering for hospice because I am lifted up by my service to others," Crowell said. "It's exhilarating to sit under a tree or push someone down the street in a wheelchair who has not been out in the fresh air for a while."

In her many years of experience she has held a deep appreciation for patients who are lonely and long to have someone to talk to and listen to them. She is also sensitive to the needs of patients who can no longer speak but can listen and see.

Sometimes caring might involve moving a patient closer to a window to be able to see children getting on a school bus. Or it may involve tuning into a special radio station a patient is yearning to hear.

Crowell remembers purchasing a radio for one patient.

"When I came into his room he showed his happiness by blinking his eyes and laughing loudly and I would rub his head and kiss him."

Donald Carnley, 46, has been volunteering for hospice for over two years. As an ordained minister he is able to provide spiritual comfort when it is requested, but he doesn't think volunteers need any special titles to help.

"You don't have to be a doctor or a physicist," Carnley said. "You just have to care."

Through his volunteering he has learned how quickly life can change when he cares for younger patients. He has become philosophical, knowing life doesn't just begin with a birth date and end with a dying date.

"It's about all the living that's compacted in that dash in between those two years," Carnley said.

Talking about the things that are important to his patients and listening about their families are vital aspects to his work, because he came sometimes connect to their experiences.

Though some volunteers seem to administer their care almost innately, all candidates undergo approximately 20 hours of training and a background check.

Debbie Hoopes, a hospice volunteer coordinator, says the training is useful and can be applied to everyday living.

Perhaps the greatest take-away is simply that today is a gift.

Belinda Kramer can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
The Bucsí problem isnít how they finish; itís how they start

The Bucsí problem isnít how they finish; itís how they start

For the second straight week, the Buccaneers had the ball in the final minutes of a tie game.For the second straight week, they could not finish.As disappointing as that might be, they have a larger problem, and one that has existed all season: The B...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning opens road trip with shutout of Blues

Lightning opens road trip with shutout of Blues

ST. LOUIS ó This showdown was supposed to be about the best team in the East versus the best in the West. In reality, the Lightningís 3-0 win over the Blues on Tuesday night pretty much came down to this:Andrei Vasilevskiy is one of the best goalies ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Lottery resultsLottery numbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Tues., Dec. 12, midday:90 578 4984e_SRit30459Tues., Dec. 12, evening:85 659 2558e_SRit95745Fantasy 5Tue...
Updated: 4 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Dec. 12

Tuesdayís scoreboardGirls soccerCountryside 5, Tarpon Springs 0Palm Harbor U. 8, Alonso 0Boys soccerShorecrest 2, Indian Rocks Chr. 0Palm Harbor U. 3, Alonso 0Girls basketballNortheast 65, Dixie Hollins 25...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Defendant asks jurors: Do I look like Charles Manson?

Defendant asks jurors: Do I look like Charles Manson?

LARGO ó Daniel Richards, on trial in the murder of his 83-year-old mother, began his own criminal defense on Tuesday by asking a few questions to the pool of prospective jurors."If you were accused of killing your mother, would you want to represent ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Career Q&A: Two bosses who donít care for each other

Career Q&A: Two bosses who donít care for each other

Q: I seem to be caught between two high-level managers who really donít like each other. One is a director, the other is a vice president, and I am an assistant to both. Whenever the director stops by my desk to chat, she makes critical remarks about...
Updated: 5 hours ago
St. Pete losing two assistant police chiefs; one will join Rays

St. Pete losing two assistant police chiefs; one will join Rays

ST. PETERSBURG ó Two assistant police chiefs are stepping down next month, leaving two of the three second-in-command jobs vacant at the St. Petersburg Police Department.Assistant Chief Jim Previtera announced this week that he will resign from the d...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Winter meetings journal: Rays add more infield depth, claim it isnít prelude to a trade

LAKE BUENA VISTA ó The Rays on Tuesday adding their third infielder in the past two weeks would sure look like a precursor to trading front-liners such as 3B Evan Longoria or 2B Brad Miller.But GM Erik Neander insisted that was not the case and that ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Tax package would lower top tax rate for wealthy Americans

Tax package would lower top tax rate for wealthy Americans

WASHINGTON ó Congressional Republicans on Tuesday rushed toward a deal on a massive tax package that would reduce the top tax rate for wealthy Americans to 37 percent and slash the corporate rate to a level slightly higher than what businesses and co...
Updated: 5 hours ago
GMs-turned-pundits believe now may be the time for Rays to sell

GMs-turned-pundits believe now may be the time for Rays to sell

LAKE BUENA VISTA ó The Rays have been doing a lot of talking, making another small deal Tuesday while still working toward bigger ones of a still-being-determined degree.And there have been a lot of baseball people at the winter meetings talking abou...
Updated: 5 hours ago