Wednesday, February 21, 2018
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
Two male students arrested for threatening their schools; no weapons found

Two male students arrested for threatening their schools; no weapons found

Two male students were arrested Wednesday on charges that they made threats against their respective schools, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.The threats were not credible and neither took steps to carry out those threats, deput...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Former Florida Rep. Robert Wallace jumps from Tampa overpass

Former Florida Rep. Robert Wallace jumps from Tampa overpass

TAMPA — Former Florida state Rep. Robert Wallace ended his life Monday night by jumping from a Dale Mabry Highway overpass, records show. He was 65.At least one witness saw Wallace plunge 40 to 50 feet onto Gunn Highway, according to a Hillsborough C...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Focused on Cuba’s future, Rep. Castor skips meeting with Raul Castro

Focused on Cuba’s future, Rep. Castor skips meeting with Raul Castro

TAMPA — One highlight of a congressional delegation’s visit to Cuba this week was an impromptu meeting with President Raul Castro.But not for U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor.The Tampa Democrat joined five other Democrats on the trip, in part to investigate th...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Two male students arrested for threatening their schools; no weapons found

Two male students were arrested Wednesday on charges that they made threats against their respective schools, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.The threats were not credible and neither took steps to carry out those threats, deput...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hillsborough commissioners ask CareerSource chief to step down or be fired

Hillsborough commissioners ask CareerSource chief to step down or be fired

TAMPA –– Hillsborough County commissioners voted Wednesday to ask embattled jobs center leader Ed Peachey to either resign or face termination over concerns the agency inflated job placement numbers with the state. Chairwoman Sandy Murman said commis...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Physician seeks Pasco Times building for rehab center

Physician seeks Pasco Times building for rehab center

PORT RICHEY — A Hudson physician hopes to acquire the Times Publishing Co. west Pasco office and convert it into an inpatient center for substance abuse rehabilitation and mental health care. Estaban Alfonzon Ruiz, a doctor of internal medicine, file...
Updated: 2 hours ago
CareerSource jobs chief Edward Peachey could soon be out of work

CareerSource jobs chief Edward Peachey could soon be out of work

CLEARWATER — The heads of the Pinellas and Hillsborough jobs boards will hold emergency meetings in the coming days to consider firing president and CEO Edward Peachey. Jack Geller, board chairman of CareerSource Pinellas, and Dick Peck, chairman of ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Updated: 3 hours ago
Toymakers dive into toilet for poospiration; Rev. Billy Graham dies at 99; MS-13 sweep keeps most basic details secret; more in U.S. news

Toymakers dive into toilet for poospiration; Rev. Billy Graham dies at 99; MS-13 sweep keeps most basic details secret; more in U.S. news

New YorkDiving into toilet for poospirationToymakers have gone to the toilet for their latest creations. Mattel’s upcoming Flushin’ Frenzy game sends a brown plastic poop flying into the air. And its rival, Hasbro stuck with the potty humor after its...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Time line1918: Born into a strict Presbyterian family near Charlotte, N.C.1934: Accepts Christ at Charlotte revival by traveling evangelist Mordecai Ham.1936: Enrolls in Bob Jones College, Cleveland, Tenn.1937: Unhappy at Bob Jones, he enrolls in Flo...
Updated: 4 hours ago