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Blog: Hospice Views

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The Importance of Volunteers in the Crossroads Family

Volunteers at Crossroads Hospice are special people who make a difference when they generously share their talents, time, and compassion with patients facing a terminal illness, and their families. These “Ultimate Givers” visit patients in their homes, in assisted living facilities, and in nursing facilities. Volunteer duties vary with patient needs. A volunteer may provide companionship, read to a patient, play games, assist with errands, or provide a moment of rest for a family member. Other specialized volunteer opportunities include pet therapy and art therapy. Volunteers play an important role in two unique gifts that Crossroads provides for patients and families. The Gift of a Day, inspired by Jim Stovall’s book, “The Ultimate Gift” asks a patient to describe his perfect day, then volunteers and staff work to make that day a reality. It may be as simple as a family holiday party or as complex as arranging a flight in a World War II era airplane.
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History of Crossroads – Part Three: Young Adulthood 2008 To Present

Today, Crossroads is ready to really make an impact on the hospice industry, as if we haven’t already. During this stage of our development, so far we have added: St. Louis, Missouri; and, Lenexa, Kansas. Looking at a question that Clayton and I asked ourselves in 2001, also defines us today. “How can we stay the way we are and not become like the big boys in the industry?” That question inspired a management philosophy that has kept us closer to the staff, not further away. It seemed to us that the more successful companies become, the more direct management gets delegated and the principals become more isolated. Also, while we were still developing our ideals in care, we were proud of our ability to change directions almost instantaneously. Now it is increasingly difficult, if not impractical, to remain as an impetuous child and change on a whim. With over 2,800 patients on service daily, we owe themconsistency of service delivery and promises kept. While our love of innovation hasn’t changed, I feel that we can change direction, or more to the point, add to on programs without disrupting our care.
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History of Crossroads Part Two – Inspiration, Backstory, Reasons

Adolescence 2002 – 2008 Adolescence is a word that brings several different emotions to mind. In humans we may think of: growth, hormonal, spirited, gaining self-awareness, stubborn, enthusiastic, etc. At Crossroads, I’m not sure we were much different. Clayton and I went into these new markets with never a thought of failure. “Why wouldn’t everyone want us there?” was our question. We have had physicians in different markets ask us why we would ever even consider coming to their state or their town. One gentleman even called us Mavericks! Well, call us adolescents or egotistical, we have never thought of resting or stopping and we were constantly evolving as a company and as individuals. From 2002 to 2008 we opened: Atlanta, Georgia; Cincinnati, Ohio; Northeast Ohio; Dayton, Ohio; Cleveland, Ohio; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. But more than just locations, our company discovered something in the potential for service that changed the face of Crossroads forever. Some of the additional programs had begun in those early years, but only as we taught others what we were doing did we really realize what we had. I think it was because that when we started, it was rare to have employees from other hospices work for us. Partly that was on purpose. We didn’t want “old school” thought in our “fresh ideals.” As hospice, as an industry, grew, it became nearly impossible to find people with no experience. Also, as word grew about Crossroads, more and more of these people came on board. It was in them that we saw what we had.
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History Of Crossroads – The Early Years

The beginning of the Crossroads Hospice story starts in a nursing home in Oklahoma City in May of 1990. I began my career in healthcare as a nursing home aide. Before I went on to the floor that first day, my trainer told me that my relationship with these residents would be the last new one they would have before meeting their maker, and to make it a “good one.” That had a profound impact on me and the way I viewed my job. I wasn't just giving baths, dressing, or feeding, but rather it was the communication between the residents and I that was the key to their happiness. After that day, I had the idea that, to really succeed in healthcare, I needed to be as experienced as possible in all fields of services.
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COPD Awareness Month: Taking Steps to Breathing Better

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a serious lung disease that makes it more difficult to breathe over time. If COPD remains untreated, the disease can have serious effects on a person’s everyday activities. Many times, symptoms of the disease are brushed off as a sign of aging or being physically inactive. But COPD is the third leading cause of death in United States. The disease kills more than 120,000 Americans each year, or one person every four minutes.