Gentle Shepherd Blog

Our team at Gentle Shepherd Hospice wants you to have the practical information you need to make the most of every day. Check out our selection of articles below, and make sure to read Kim’s (our co-founder and Vice President) devotionals.

“Lie to my mom?”

Mom taught you to always tell the truth. But in the context of caring for someone with memory loss (dementia), honesty may not always be the best policy. There may be times when the kindest strategy—the one that reduces your loved one's anxiety or fear—is to omit the...

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What to do with their stuff?

Perhaps your loved one is downsizing. Or maybe planning a move to assisted living or a nursing home. He or she may even have passed away… If you find yourself needing to pack up a relative’s belongings, start by sorting them into five categories: items to keepitems to...

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Communicating with aphasia

If your loved one suddenly developed difficulty with speaking, he or she probably has aphasia, typically from a stroke or traumatic brain injury. Slow or garbled speech can be frustrating for everyone. Recovery is enhanced by following the advice of speech and...

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Getting out of the mental spin cycle

Do you find yourself in a repetitive cycle of reliving an exchange over and over? Reflecting on experiences gone badly is one way we learn. We think about what happened and look for insights that might promote a positive outcome in a similar situation next time. But...

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Common elder scams

Financial abuse of the elderly is thriving. Advise your loved ones to be on the alert for these common scams: Government impostorsIndividuals call saying they represent Social Security, Medicare, the VA, or the IRS. They describe a problem with an account. Or taxes...

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Origins of hospice

The daughter of one of our patients is visiting France this week and sent her mother’s nurse this photo – a hospice in Viviers that was built in 1874. Curious about the early days of hospice, I did a little internet research and here’s what I learned… Historians...

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A Few Seeds

Kim Eckenroth, MS, APRN, FNP-C, our co-founder and vice president overseeing patient care, often writes devotionals for our staff. We thought you might also appreciate them, so we created a special section on our blog to share them with you. We hope they touch your...

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Plan ahead when downsizing

Moving into a smaller living situation is a big decision. More emotionally challenging, however, are the many little decisions your loved one must make about what to keep and what to let go. Possessions, from knickknacks to garden tools, hold many dear memories....

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Distraction techniques

If the person you care for has a problem with memory loss (dementia), you may find that he or she gets agitated about things that don't make sense. Your long-retired dad, for instance, may wake up in the mornings and insist, "I have to go to work!" It can be confusing...

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The value of nostalgia

Nostalgia has historically gotten a bad rap, viewed as a precursor to feelings of sadness and longing. Emotional downers. Today we know that’s a faulty assumption. Research shows that nostalgia typically brightens mood. This is because nostalgia helps us in many ways.

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Lightening Bugs at Sunset

Kim Eckenroth, MS, APRN, FNP-C, our co-founder and vice president overseeing patient care, often writes devotionals for our staff. We thought you might also appreciate them, so we created a special section on our blog to share them with you. We hope they touch your...

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What is an occupational therapist?

Eating, dressing, getting in and out of a chair. In the course of daily life, we use many skills to accomplish even “simple” tasks. Walking or using a fork is surprisingly complex. Nerve signals and muscles have to coordinate in a very specific order. A healthy body is a marvel!

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