SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – For so many chronically ill or terminally ill patients, it’s more than just medicine they require. Attention to their emotional and spiritual needs is just as important.
We’re used to professionals providing a specialized layer of care to hospice patients. But on Tuesday Eyewitness News Healthbeat Reporter Mark Hiller found some people in the community who are lending their young hands and hearts to the cause.
What may seem like an arts and crafts project at William Prescott Elementary School is so much more. 5th graders and kindergarten students team up to pack some very special Easter basket care packages. They fill each bag with such things as an Easter card, a pocket angel, tissues and some treats for Allied Services Hospice patients. 5th grader Ella Cohen said, “It’s sad to have people sick and not having them to cheer up their day.” Her classmate Kate Dougherty said, “I hope that it just like makes them smile, makes them happy.”
It’s difficult for students to understand just how serious the outlook is for patients who receive these gifts. “The word hospice is so scary for many people,” said Allied Services Hospice Volunteer Coordinator Kathleen Haikes who works with others to support hospice patients in their struggle.
Sometimes all it takes is something simple to provide a much-needed boost. Ms. Haikes said, “They can still live their life while on hospice and little things like this help them live their life and see that people are thinking of them but maybe for a moment, the patient themselves is not thinking about their diagnosis.”
It also reminds patients of something that’s so important. 5th grader Amanda Igoe said, “I hope that they know that people are caring for them and that they know that they’re not alone.”
Allied Services Hospice volunteers will hand out the baskets to hospice patients and their families between this week and next week in time for Easter.