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Blog: Hospice Views

Patient Clowns Around on “Gift of a Day”

Patient Clowns Around on “Gift of a Day”Say what you will about clowns, but there’s something about a painted smile, red nose and floppy shoes that make you feel better when you’re down.

Just ask Ronald Shobert, who worked for 56 years visiting charity hospitals as a clown, entertaining patients and offering laughter therapy. Now a patient himself with Crossroads Hospice in Cleveland, Shobert fondly remembers the seltzer gags and pantomiming that brought smiles to the faces of those in need of a good chuckle.

For Shobert’s “Gift of a Day,” his care team wanted to honor the 86-year-old’s legacy of laughter. They arranged for a visit from Bojangles, a local leader in the clown community, and threw a party complete with balloon animals. To bring this day to the next level, they helped Shobert dress in his old uniform, nose and wig. Together, Bojangles and the patient showed what it really means to clown around.

“With this Gift, we were hoping to bring back some memories for Mr. Shobert,” says Shelly DeSmith, Gift of a Day Coordinator for Crossroads Hospice in Cleveland. “When he saw Bojangles, his face lit up. He had such a good time there.”

On this “Gift of a Day,” Shobert and his Crossroads team proved that clowning is no joke.

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