“I cannot imagine by mother’s life without Hospice, their philosophy, their care, their kind employees.”

This is an actual letter received by a family member who received Front Range Hospice services. All identifying information has been removed to protect patient privacy. The entire staff of Front Range Hospice wants to thank this family for allowing us to partner with them in providing loving care to their family member.

Dear Front Range Hospice staff,

                My family and I are so grateful for everything that your hospice has done for us. We would recommend your hospice to anyone seeking compassionate care for a loved one.

                My mother was cared for by your hospice for almost one year. She had a debilitating disease that progressed so that by the last 3 months she was nearly bedridden. When we first arranged for Hospice we felt very alone and overwhelmed. We had no family nearby. When your staff arrived they not only brought equipment to make our lives easier, but they also sent us staff that were supportive and compassionate, taught us better ways to care for my mother, provided medications and instruction, and took a large load of the work off of our hands. They emphasized to us that we need to focus on her and our emotional needs as much as on her physical needs. They were able to change her plan of care with her changing needs, and when they arrived in our home we felt such comfort and support.

                Your CNA had been with our mother from the beginning. She would greet Mom almost before she would speak to us. She was so gentle and kind, and talked to her. She worked so hard, and really got to know my mother. She is so sweet and has very comforting hands and manner.

                The social worker came later, but she really got to the depth of our need for support, and she just listened, and empathized. She had some very good practical suggestions. She gave us information when we needed it, seemed to have a sense of perfect timing to meet our needs.

                The chaplain did so much for us he cannot even imagine. He helped us all as a family unit, not only helping us with our mother but also when we had another family death. He helped my father face his loneliness from losing my mother with a much more positive perspective, and gave him hope for his future. He worked with my young daughters and helped them to answer questions they had facing death, his teaching and support to all of us will help us throughout our lives. He also gave mother his strength and his special gifts, and for that we will always be grateful.

                Our dear nurse. I cannot say enough about her. She is a breath of fresh air and hope. She came into the house and we instantly felt comforted and strengthened. She taught us, supplied us, consoled us, and told us we were doing a good job. She is a tower of strength and has such a compassionate understanding. My family and I grew much attached to her. At the end she enabled us, and let us know she was there for us at any time, she gave us courage. Her smile, her hugs and her touch will always stay with us. The relationship she established with my mother was so special.

                I would also like to thank your PRN nurse who was with us at the beginning and at the end. She was a friend even though she hardly knew us.

                I cannot imagine by mother’s life without Hospice, their philosophy, their care, their kind employees. I hope this is a service that will always be available, enabling excellent quality of care to those whose lives are ending and for their loved ones. Hospice saves us from expensive hospital visits, and helps us to provide care to those who would otherwise be hospitalized or institutionalized. I will always be an advocate for this excellent service, and will always be grateful to Hospice.

                                                Yours sincerely,

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By Barbara Reed, Hospice Liaison



Front Range Hospice, located in Erie, CO, is thrilled to be working closely with Erie Active Adult Center to provide unique opportunities for its residents to get out of their homes and socialize. We will be co-sponsoring 6 events this year. On Friday, January 17th we sponsored the Snow Ball Dinner and Show.   We all had a blast!  We even had a Snow King greet us as we arrived, dressed in a “winter white” robe, wearing a crown and holding a scepter.  After a delicious meal served by the best volunteers in town, the show began.  We were entertained by Marilyn and Frank!  That’ s Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra.  Tribute artists, yes – but they did an outstanding job.  Toes were tapping and couples began to sit a bit closer to one another as the songs touched their hearts and brought back tender memories.  It wasn’t all sugar – Marilyn, in particular, brought some spice to the evening when she sat on the leg of one guest while singing just to him! 


We started the year with this great evening in January.  In February, Front Range Hospice will co-sponsor “Thru the Looking Glass” Dinner & Magic / Comedy Show on Friday, 2/21 from 6 – 8 PM.  Make your reservations early – you may get to see the next winner of “America’s  Got Talent”.  Our magicians  recently auditioned for this show and we’ll all find out if they’ve been selected to participate when they appear (and disappear) right here in Erie, CO on 2/21!  I hope you can join us.  Be sure to call 303-926-2795 to register!

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A Day to Remember

A Day to Remember

Victor Montour

Front Range Hospice is proud to be participating in the We Honor Veterans Program that is a partnership between National Association of Hospice and Palliative Care (NHPCO) and the VA. Our partnership has changed the lives of many of our staff. This story is just one example.


Today started out like an ordinary day. I got up, got ready for work and headed out the door. Only today I dressed in red, white and blue because I was to speak to a small group of military Veterans to honor them for their service in our military. My anxiety was running amuck from the moment I realized the day was here. I was grateful I had other meetings and visits to complete before the big event this afternoon to help me focus on something other than this ceremony.


I got to Arvada Care Center and a small group of people were seated around a couple of tables decorated in the very colors I’m wearing. As I approached I realized it was a small group of people having a bible study. I sat at the back of the room and waited for Mary the activities director to come and greet me and take me to the Veterans ceremony.


After waiting about 10 min, Mary came out and greeted me and then walked me up to a small group of about 12 people. Mary wasted no time in introducing me and why I was there today. My hands started sweating, my heart raced up to 160 beats a min and my mouth was as dry as the Mojave Desert.


Well I took a deep breath and jump in with both feet. I did my part as the presenter, I thanked them for their service, I talked about Front Range Hospice and the We Honor Veterans  program and the partnership between NHCPO and VA.


The time came to give out the certificates recognizing the people who have served in the military. I called out the first name. Ironically his first name is the same as mine. When called out his name, he stood with the use of his walker and did something I was so not expecting. He stood tall and saluted me with such pride. I gave him his certificate, shook his hand and thanked him for his service.


I continued reading names and giving certificates to each man and women who served and each one showed such pride for their contribution to our country. After reading the last name and thanking the last serviceman we all sat to celebrate with some cup cakes – which are red white and blue, and ice cream.


Now was when this event turned into something I will remember for the rest of my life. One person started talking about what they did in the military. Before I knew it, I was sitting next to a man who was an airplane propeller mechanic, another who was a foot solder or a “dirt rearranger” as he put it. I was sitting with a lovely lady who joined the Navy with her sister. She was a key board operator because back then women were not allowed on the ships. She could not recall what her sister did.


The stories just started flowing from everyone; they just went on and on. Each person had something very different to share but with very much the same story. They talked about where they were in Vietnam and Pearl Harbor. They talked about how some would have never made the choice to join the military, but because of the draft they were able to see the world and do things they would have never have been able to do on their own. The wives talked about their husbands and what they did in the military. Some of these stories brought tears to my eyes and a profound respect for each of them. Once the stories were told the group started talking about where their loved ones were buried and where they hope to be buried at. A few wanted to tour Fort Logan Cemetery. At that moment Mary the activities director asked who would like to go on that trip and half the group raised their hands. Mary is now planning an outing for the summer to Fort Logan Cemetery.


The event went off without a hitch. I received more thanks from this small group then I ever would have imagined. I was thanked for simply thinking about them. Thanked for the certificates, thanked for allowing them to share their stories. What they don’t realize is they gave me something much more then I could have ever given them. I say to all our Veterans who have served or are currently serving:

“Thank you, thank you for what you have given.  Your sacrifice is why I’m free and able to be me. Americans are forever in your debt.”

Front Range Hospice north Chaplin and Social Worker perform patriotic songs for
the residents of Sierra Vista in Loveland CO for their Veterans Program.

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By Pam Ware

Last winter I became aware of the work the Ellen Goodman, the Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, is doing in getting people to understand the need to talk to their loved ones about what they hope their end of life care would look like. I heard Ms. Goodman speak this spring about how she came to understand this need while caring for her mother. She realized during this period that she and her mother had never had “The Conversation”.

The Conversation Starter is a presentation that I am willing to do just about anywhere in our service territory. It runs about an hour and is helpful, truthful, and I manage to throw in both real stories and some humor. In a world with so many possibilities it is very important that we exert some of our personal power to ensure that the end of our life happens the way we would hope. If you are a person that wants everything done, you do not mind long hospital stays or nursing home stays, you should let your loved know this. On the other hand, if you ask yourself “just because we can, should we” your family should know that.

As a healthcare professional that has been teaching on the need for Advance Directives for over a decade, I find this approach to be much more enjoyable for the audience. So far, my audiences have remained awake, alert, and very interested.

We are just starting to keep track of who attends these presentations and will be following up with the attendee’s to see if they had “The Conversation”. From the last presentation, I was told by one of the couples that attended that they went home that night used the handouts as a guide for their Conversation and have even made an appointment with a local senior retirement community so they would know what their options will be.

Nothing is more satisfying to a medical social worker then giving people the tools to determine their own destiny. If you would like to attend one of our presentations please call the office at 303-957-3101 and ask for Michaela Wells and she will make sure you are informed of future events. It really is an hour well spent.

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A message on Monday morning Sept 16,2013 to the staff of Front Range Hospice

A message on Monday morning Sept 16,2013 to the staff of Front Range Hospice

I want to extend a heartfelt thank you for each you as we have been in one of the most stressful situations I have dealt with in my professional life. I was a discharge planner/social worker at Swedish Medical Center when the Columbine shootings happened. Yes, that was a stressful time but since I was not an ICU social worker, I dealt with the rest of the hospital and left that tragic event to others. I had some distance even though I was physically present. This is the first time in FRH history that we have been in Disaster Mode for more than 24 hours. Usually it is several hours. Our disaster plan works. I learned a few things and will update the plan accordingly but it works.

This week I anticipate a lot of supplies will need to be delivered, medications will need to ordered, patients/families will need a little more TLC. Please be prepared for this. As my minister said yesterday, everyone has a story and they need to tell it in order to get on the road to recovery and cease feeling so helpless. Let’s listen to each other and to our patients/families.

I have asked myself “where is God in this disaster of biblical proportions?” For me he showed up to make sure our deaths, since that is our business, occurred in our nursing home patients and not our home patients. She showed up in getting Char and Andrea home safely who were already working when I called the Disaster on early Thursday morning. He showed up in sparing Char’s home. Char is the only staff I know that was evacuated. He showed up in settling all of our patients down so we did not have major patient care issues develop. She showed up Friday when the preferred hospice for a referral source was unable to take on a Kaiser patient that was home with symptom management issues and we had her and her family safely tucked in in about 5 hours. She showed up yesterday when the rains began again in a torrential way and Erin was in Brighton. We got her safely home. He showed up when he put all of us together at Front Range Hospice. This has been an incredibly stressful time but a time when I am filled with gratitude to each of you, for each of you, and for my God holding us in the palm of his hand.

Thank you and please be safe out there.

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WWII to the Korean War

WWII to the Korean War

By Matthew Larime





[P]atriotism…     is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady     dedication of a lifetime.  ~Adlai     Stevenson






“World War II (1939-1945) killed more people, destroyed more property, disrupted more lives, and probably had more far     reaching effects than any other war in history.”    







For the past several years, the veteran population primarily served for end of life care was the WWII veteran.  It is estimated 1.9 billion people served worldwide during WWII, of which 16.1 million were Americans.  The exploration and use of the atomic bomb, WWII veterans experienced a change in warfare and were exposed to foreign agents, not yet understood or effectively treatable by our healthcare systems.  In addition to the atomic bomb, our veterans were exposed to infectious diseases, chemical warfare, nuclear cleanup/exposure and climate related injuries.  Upon return from the war, veterans received unprecedented support and patriotism from the people and the United States government.  Prior to the war’s conclusion, in 1944, congress passed and made effective a large number of new benefits for veterans.  As WWII came to an end, the number of veterans jumped from 4 million to 19 million almost overnight. In 2013, the median age for a WWII veteran is 89.  In 2015, it is estimated only 800,000 veterans from WWII will be living. 


            Through the We Honor Veterans initiative, Front Range Hospice staff is encouraged and trained to initiate conversation and support for veterans and their families.  The staff of Front Range Hospice embraced the additional trainings, taking the time to learn about WWII veterans and the additional needs veterans have at end of life.  Through education and relationship building, Front Range Hospice is able to assist veterans and families access end of life benefits including, home assistance, end of life arrangements and support for immediate family members.  Front Range Hospice continues to initiate contacts in veteran communities, strengthening collaboration and partnership efforts.  Along the journey, Front Range Hospice has been able to connect with the veteran’s it serves, identify areas staff need additional training and continue to work providing excellent care and services to today’s veterans. 

            In 2014, it is estimated 60% of all veterans over the age of 65 will be from the Korean War era… 

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It’s never too late to say ‘thank you’ to our nation’s Veterans: even at the end of life

It’s never too late to say ‘thank you’ to our nation’s Veterans: even at the end of life

Americans across the country celebrate Veterans Day on November 11, a special day to salute the men and women who have bravely served our country in the military.


These fellow Americans have made profound sacrifices in defense of freedom and they deserve our heartfelt thanks and appreciation. Honoring our nation’s Veterans includes supporting them throughout their entire lives, especially at the end. 


As our nation marks Veterans Day, Front Range Hospice deepens our commitment to increase Veterans’ access to the compassionate, high quality care available from the nation’s hospice and palliative care providers. One of the ways we’re making this happen is through our active involvement with We Honor Veterans, an innovative program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization that we created in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs.


There is something else that’s important for every American to do – and that is to say, “thank you” to our country’s Veterans. Not just on November 11 but all year long.


Ask your friends, neighbors, coworkers and others in your community whether they have served in the military (you may be surprised how many have)—and thank those who have served for their sacrifice.


It surprises many Americans to learn that every day, 1,800 Veterans die. That’s more than 680,000 Veterans every year – or 25 percent of all the people who die in this country annually.


If you know a Veteran who is in need of the special care hospice and palliative care brings to people facing serious and life-limiting illness, please reach out and help them learn more about care options. Information is available from Front Range Hospice at 303-957-3101, NHPCO’s Caring Connections at www.caringinfo.org or by calling the HelpLine at 1-800-658-8898.


To all our nation’s Veterans, thank you.


If you would like to support work being done at the national level to expand care for Veterans at the end of life, please visit www.WeHonorVeterans.org/Support.

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