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Adapting to the 'New Normal...'

The people of Hospice of East Texas are resilient, and they have brought their creativity to the task of searching for new ways to care for terminally ill patients and their families. Our friends in the community have also found new ways to support our mission.

Many patients of Hospice of East Texas reside in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. For obvious but painful reasons, these facilities have had to restrict access in order to protect their residents.

Following the individual mandates of each facility, Hospice nurses, social workers, home hospice aids and chaplains remain available personally or virtually to each hospice patient and their family and have found new ways to support our partners in these facilities who remain on the front line in the care of their residents.

Hospice of East Texas staff were glad to be a part of “drive-by parades” put on for residents of Dogwood Trails Assisted Living, and Windermere at Cartmell Assisted Living.

Our communities have responded generously to the need for cloth masks to protect our staff. Among many, many mask donations, one that truly stands out is a donation of 96 masks from Heartisans Marketplace.

Baskets bursting with art and sweet notes of well wishes were delivered to nursing homes residents thanks to a Hospice of East Texas initiative called Happy Mail. The Hospice of East Texas collected these notes and drawings, lovingly created by our community and delivered them in hopes of lifting the spirits of residents isolated from their friends and families

Work Hub in Tyler held a snack drive for Hospice of East Texas, bringing coolers of drinks and tubs full of snacks to refuel our front-line staff.

The Hospice of East Texas Bereavement Department is offering its first virtual support group via video conferencing because gathering in person is no longer possible.

Stacy Sanders, Chaplain and Bereavement Coordinator, had this to say. “We hope this new virtual support group will enhance our ability to serve those who are grieving, both now and in the future.”

Volunteer Donna Barnett, pictured here in front of the Hospice Shop in Jacksonville, (We love the “Hospice blue” tomato!) shifted gears from her regular assignment and began making masks for Hospice staff.

Our staff is working hard and adapting to the 'new normal,' but always keeping our community a top priority! Last week Volunteer Coordinator, Julie Rucker had a great visit with friend and Trinity Timbers Assisted Living resident, Bobby - while social distancing via cell phones, of course. Bobby loves to fly so Julie made a special sign to brighten his day. "We are all in this together," she said.