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Caregiver of the Month – Kathy Nelson

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Kathy Nelson is the winner of the Hospice Caregiver Award presented by Horan & McConaty. She was nominated by Sally Carey.

I’m honored to nominate Kathy Nelson for the Hospice Caregiver Award. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Kathy for the past 4+ years. In that time, Kathy has revealed an impressive depth of knowledge of caring for elders, especially those under hospice care. She has supported not only individual patients and family members with their unique needs and concerns, but also is attuned to the needs of staff members, whether they be team members, volunteers or staff in care facilities.

Kathy’s extensive hospice experience began at St. John’s Hospice in 1999 where she began many close collegial relationships that continue to this day. In 2009, she moved into a team management position at The Denver Hospice, where her people skills where honed to include supervision, active management & support along with meeting organizational needs & goals. As TDH looked to restructuring their management model, Kathy found an opportunity to serve closer to home both physically & spiritually. In 2013 she joined Hospice of CovenantCare, another non-profit and a faith-based hospice where she continues to serve.

As I have worked with her, and in the past 15 months shared an office with her, I have come to witness the quality of relationships she has forged which speaks to her ability to connect with and care for so many. She keep in touch. She reaches out. She advocates for patients, staff members and facility staff. Her natural and seemingly boundless empathy inspires those around her to look beyond the obvious to understand the feelings and motivations of those who may be harder to know or accept. Her capacity to be mindful of the struggles of others humbles and encourages me to suspend judgment and offer grace.

Kathy has shown herself to be a natural and understated leader, gracefully adapting to the changing needs of the staff and organization she works within. She attends to the details of facilitating teamwork, including tech support, and fosters developing leadership. She takes on special projects and conducts home health social work visits as the organization needs. Kathy is the Swiss-army-knife for our team, gracious and self-effacing, always working for the good of all.

Sally Carey

 

Each monthly Caregiver Award winner will receive a gift card that can be used for whatever the recipient decides and an award.

At the end of twelve months the review committee will select the Caregiver of the Year to be revealed at a banquet honoring the twelve finalists. The Caregiver of the Year will win a trip for two within Colorado.

Caregiver Award

Do you know a Caregiver? Nominate them today!

3 Tips for Helping Children and Youth Understand Funeral Services and Death

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As a parent, you have a natural instinct to protect your child from harm. Some wish to spare their children the pain and sorrow of a funeral. However, excluding your child from a ceremony or ritual could do more harm than good, denying them the opportunity to grieve and be with others who are mourning. In this article we will explain how best help your child to understand the service and rituals following the loss of a loved one.

1. Answer questions before the ceremony. This will give your child the opportunity to ask any questions they might have about their loved one and what happens next. When answering your child’s questions, be sure to keep it simple and avoid using euphemisms. Explain your loved one can no longer think, breathe, feel pain, cold, or hot and that their body has simply stopped working. Using terms such as, “passed away” or “deep sleep” could further confuse your child.

2. Inform your child what to expect. Whether your loved one will be cremated, have an open casket ceremony or a closed one, it is important to let your child know what they will see and experience during these services. Go over the ceremony or ritual schedule in detail including what they will see, who will be doing what and why.

Explain to your child that cremation happens when your loved one is placed into a special box and transported to a crematory. A crematory is place that gets so hot (hotter than the hottest desert), it turns a person’s body into something like gray sand. From there, the sand is placed into a very special container called an urn. Avoid using words like flames, burning and fire.

If your loved with is having an open casket ceremony, contact your Horan & McConaty Funeral Director to schedule a private viewing before the service. This will give ample time for your child to ask questions and know what to expect when viewing the deceased. If your child wishes to touch your loved one, demonstrate how by gently brushing along the hand or hair.

For closed casket ceremonies, questions of being afraid of the dark may be asked, simply remind your child they can no longer become scared, cold, or feel pain. Our funeral directors are present for further explanation if needed on why the casket remains closed.

3. Create a sense of choice and control. It’s okay if children choose not to attend a service but encourage them to do so. Schedule a tour with a Horan & McConaty Funeral Director of the facility where the service will take place. A sense of familiarity with the area can go long way if your child becomes anxious or nervous. Have a designated relative or care taker who can take your child for a walk or away from the ceremony if they feel overwhelmed. Present the option of going to a friend’s house, or even the opportunity to invite their peers. This shared experience will help friends adjust to your child’s new norm, making it less awkward and easier to talk about in the future.

 Experience the difference with Horan & McConaty – Let our family help yours. Contact us today for more information and assistance.

For a more in depth look into the importance of memorialization and the role it plays in the lives of our youth, we invite you to view the eBook and video below.

>>READ EBOOK

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