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Helping to Carry the Heaviest Load

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Fall 2023 - The Heaviest Load

We all want to provide the best possible care for our loved ones, whether it was of a parent, sibling, spouse or child. Having them at home with us means that we are on duty 24/7 – we know that. We have to do the shopping, cooking, cleaning; we are probably doing that already.

But how about all the other things? Paying the bills and making sure that the money is there to pay them. Getting the car, the AC or the leaking toilet fixed. Keeping track of medication, doctor appointments, etc. for you and your patient.
These are all practical things that we can’t imagine having to cope with as we watch our loved one decline, become weaker, getting closer to the end. But do we really know the whole story? Can we imagine the whole weight they carry? Some are lucky enough to have understanding and supportive family close by to share this burden but that is rarely the case.

As the patient drifts from you, the relationship between you changes and you increasingly have to take the leading role and make decisions entirely on your
own. Now your sense of isolation and loneliness increases. Your life outside the home ceases and the only adults you talk to are the aides and nurses who stop by briefly and are not there to spend time with you. This where a volunteer can step in. As a caregiver relief, I see my role as giving my time, an ear for the caregiver to bend, or a shoulder to cry on. I sit with the dying patient, but my focus is on building a supportive relationship with the caregiver. I have come to learn that the isolation, frustration, and depression felt by the caregiver is the heaviest load to carry. ~Fiona Pearce, Volunteer

 Reflections of Life Articles: Fall 2023

DASH to Celebrate Veterans Day 2023

What could be better than enjoying sunshine and fresh air with your family and friends in a beautiful park while honoring local Veterans? At 7:30 am on November 11, 2023, The DASH in Life 5K will kick-off a full day of Veterans Day activities at Brevard Veterans Memorial Park. This idyllic course is flat, scenic, …

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Life Changing Gift of Dignity

Meet Brodie and Beau, brothers who both live with a disease that deteriorates their muscles to the point that they are unable to hold themselves up in a chair. Although their minds are active and their attitudes are bright, they are physically challenged and unable vocalize their needs. Their devoted mother, Melanie Armistead, relies heavily …

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Serving Brevard for 45 years

What began as a dream of helping neighbors almost fifty years ago is turning 45 this year. Emilie Sasko was a nurse, volunteer, mother of 12 and a dreamer. She had a dream that she was being called to create a hospice, and supported by her deep faith, family and friends, founded the second hospice …

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When Angels Get Their WINGS

Wonderful. Inspiring. Notable. Gracious. Service. These words are frequently used to describe our staff at St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care. We treasure these words in our hearts. Another phrase that we often hear from patients and families is, “You are our Angels.” “You are our Angels” inspired the WINGS Recognition Program. WINGS was created to …

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Memorial Day to Remember

By: Chandler Langevin, Veteran Services Coordinator Memorial Day is a very sacred time for staff and volunteers at St. Francis Reflections. As part of our ongoing commitment to Veterans, we traveled throughout Brevard County to render honors to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. Here are some of my highlights from the …

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We LOVE our Volunteers

Our volunteers are a diverse array of caring individuals including working professionals, retirees, stay-at-home parents, students, and people who are exploring new careers and building new skill sets. Those who are interested in volunteering must be dependable, friendly and compassionate. It is not necessary to have medical or hospice experience. Each volunteer is asked to …

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The Staircase

Michael Brian Horton May 30, 2016 Last night I had myself a dreamI still can see it nowA staircase stood before meSpiraling up into the cloudsIts wood was worn and weatheredBut had stood the tests of timeAnd I came upon a young man thereAs I began to climbHis uniform colonialHis tri cornered hat pulled downHe …

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