Category Archives: Providence Blog

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Buying Meaningful Gifts on a Budget

Buying gifts for people we love generally fills us with joy, but it’s not without challenges. How do you buy something meaningful, unique, and useful, but also stay within a reasonable budget? And if you’re the kind of person who buys for everyone in the family–children, grandchildren, in-laws, neighbors, pets, etc.–the challenge deepens. You may realize that the gift-giving that used to bring you such fulfillment actually feels like a chore. Don’t throw in the towel yet! There are plenty of ways to get gifts that will be loved and cherished without cashing in your retirement fund. Talk to your family and discuss how you want to approach the gift-giving season, possibly using one of the following themes. Homemade Gifts Decide as a family that you will all exchange gifts you make yourself. When you give a homemade gift, what you are really giving is a gift of your time. Making something homemade takes longer than putting something in an online shopping basket. And before you say that you’re not an artist, keep in mind that giving something homemade does not have to be something tangible–although artwork is a special gift as well. For a teenager, a homemade gift can […]

Bereavement support from licensed counselor volunteer at Providence Hospice

As a professional, Heather Lane is a licensed counselor that works with families in both private practice and non-profit settings. But as a Providence Hospice volunteer, Heather offers the bereavement support that is needed by families who have lost someone they love. And the help she provides is centered on what each person needs, when they need it. She’s been volunteering at Providence Hospice once a week for over a year. “The spiritual realm must have had something to do with it,” Heather says. “I was randomly looking through emails and saw a volunteer opportunity for bereavement support. I filled out a form, got a call from Annette [McClain, Providence Hospice Volunteer Coordinator], and that was it.” Heather loves the work. “It’s a wonderful way to serve people,” she says. “It’s an opportunity for me to give back to the community by donating what I’ve learned.” “It’s really about normalizing the grief experience by offering love, compassion, and kindness,” Heather says of bereavement counseling. That donation is her ear to listen to expressions of grief, her words that validate the feelings of loss, and sometimes even her physical presence to comfort the heartbroken families. She says that instead of the […]

Power of Attorney v. Guardianship: What’s the Difference?

Power of Attorney or Guardianship? What’s the difference, and do I really need to know? The short answer to the second question is YES. Having a Power of Attorney is one of the most important aspects of your aging plan. It can mean the difference between having your wishes honored and having your wishes ignored, or simply unknown. The first question will take some time to unpack, so let’s look at it slowly. But before we begin, keep in mind that the best way to get these questions answered is by consulting a lawyer who specializes in this field. However, we can share some basic information that may help get you started. What is a Power of Attorney? A power of attorney (POA) is a document that gives someone the legal authority to make decisions on someone’s behalf. Generally, the POA is written to go into effect only after a person is incapacitated and unable to make his or her own decisions. The person who chooses a POA must have the mental capacity to do so at the time of signing; a POA cannot be chosen for you by someone else once the capacity is gone. Often, people choose two […]

Providence Certified as a Great Place to Work®

Great Place to Work Institute has honored Providence Life Services with certification as a Great Place to Work. The certification process considered more than 1,000 employee surveys from across Providence communities and services. Great Place to Work, an independent research and consulting firm, evaluated more than 60 elements of team members’ experience on the job. These included employee pride in the organization’s community impact, belief that their work makes a difference, and feeling their work has special meaning. Rankings are based on employees’ experiences, no matter who they are or what they do. Providence Life Services has made a it a priority to provide an employment culture all its own, and leadership is proud that the organization has been recognized for being a great place to work. Recently, in addition to a competitive benefits package, Providence instituted a 3 percent increase for starting wages for several direct care position, an effort to attract the very best employees in a competitive market. These dedicated staff have served on the front line of care, and truly help exemplify the Providence Life Services mission to enhance the lives of those we serve in the name of Jesus Christ. “We applaud Providence Life Services for seeking certification and releasing its employees’ feedback,” […]

Making Connections through Art

Residents at Park Place of Elmhurst are picking up a paintbrush for the first time in years, or perhaps for the first time in their lives, thanks to an innovative watercolor art program that combines creativity and evidence-based practice to improve their well-being and cognition. The group is facilitated by Allison Radcliffe, founder of Cognitive Art Connections. Allison first discovered the positive impact that art can have on the brain when she began volunteering with a similar program through the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado, following her mother’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s disease. When she and her family relocated from Denver to Chicago, Allison discovered a need for art programs at places like Park Place of Elmhurst and began offering her expertise. Spending time unleashing their inner creativity is beneficial to all residents, especially those in Park Place’s Gilead Memory Care program. “Our number one goal is to have fun, relax, and just be together,” Allison says. “I’m able to watch people go from an agitated or less focused state to a relaxed state.” Allison recalls one Memory Care resident she works with who used to be an artist in her younger days: “I think it frustrates her that she can’t get […]