A sensational season of stimulating success

Our February meeting welcomed speaker Marcia McGaw, a community educator for Gemini Hospice and her associate and ambassador of love, Bella, a yellow Labrador mix. Bella is invaluable to the program, as clients immediately warm up to her. She is great therapy for the lonely and despondent reciprocating freely with natural affection.

Hospice provides custodial care, social services, durable medical equipment, medications/supplies related to the terminal diagnosis when a person has been diagnosed with heart/kidney/liver or pulmonary disease, renal failure, cancer, ALS, MD, MS, or Alzheimer’s/dementia, Parkinson’s, stroke, or failure to thrive.* Seniors assume that hospice is for the actively dying. This is not true! Communication with a hospice community educator or administrator should occur much earlier in the declining process. Hospice is covered by Medicare Part A benefit and has no out-of-pocket cost to you or your loved one.

Marcia has done in home screenings to confirm a diagnosis regarding Hospice eligibility. If the program is not expedient she connects the individual with the appropriate agencies which are able to assist him/her in their present circumstances. Knowledge of the applicable agency to contact can be overwhelming to a patient or their family in time of crisis. Should you require assistance in this process, Marcia would be happy to provide you with critical information.

Gemini is always seeking volunteers. Some areas of service are patient visits, playing cards, reading, games, office work, or just visiting. Marcia can be reached at her office at 480-883-1353 or by cell at 480-798-1253.

Shirley Jackson stated that the present Kare Bear Board has termed out! Those volunteering for Board positions are Carol Weatherbee, Shirley Goodman, Deanna Calvert, Margaret Spear and Linda Bengton. Thanks ladies!

Our last Kare Bear faire for the season will be on April 5. All donations will be appreciated!

Marilyn Miles announced that our membership roll is 78. Nikki Hanley reported that 15 people attended training information session for upcoming memorials last month.

Aggi Regan read a thank you note expressing Vincent de Paul’s appreciation for our food donations at Christmas. Also of note is that Vincent de Paul’s rating on Charity Navigator, an independent charity watchdog organization, is four stars. Vincent de Paul provided 15,490 needy people in 2015 at its St. Mary’s food pantry facility in Chandler. During January 2016 alone they served 1,330 individuals.

Bunny and the 50/50 raffle table workers want to express their gratitude to the vendors who donate prizes for our drawing each month. Individual cash prizes have ranged from $189 to $238 for the lucky winners this season. We appreciate your support, enabling us to sustain the SunBird community and various commendable charities.

*Failure to thrive is a specific diagnosis in elderly persons which is defined by The Institute of Medicine as weight loss of more than five percent, decreased appetite, poor nutrition and physical inactivity, often associated with dehydration, depression, immune dysfunction and low cholesterol.