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Clarehouse Life Stories

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Sharing.
Peace.
Dignity.
Love.
Warmth.
Joy.

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Sharing.

When you learn, teach, when you get, give. Maya Angelou

We believe in sharing what we’ve learned. There is no fear in revealing our secrets to success; we do this freely, and with gratitude for those who have enabled our journey. We celebrate knowing that sharing our effective practices widens our impact and we join a global movement to improve end-of-life care.

Sharing

Every once in a while we know without a doubt that grace and providence has touched our lives and purposely placed us on a life-changing path. For our community, connecting with Clarehouse a year ago, marks that moment in time for us. As fledglings ready to take flight we have been lifted up and made stronger and wiser by all that Clarehouse continues to share. Their pioneering path in caring for dying people has shown what communities are creatively capable of building and sustaining when united and energized for a higher good.

Clarehouse has helped to set our direction, prepare us, and walk us through inevitable moments marked by doubt and uncertainty.

Their humble beginnings and expanded outreach stand as a testament to the importance of patience, perseverance, and the power of faith and prayer. There is a bit of Clarehouse living in every community blessed by their personal touch and generous spirit. Their story, their heartfelt work, and their willingness to connect us all to one another through a national network now opens doors and possibilities never before imagined.

Michelle Siewert
Friends For A York County Hospice Home
York, PA

Peace.

Serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace in the midst of it. We know we cannot change the ravages of disease but we can offer safe haven. Dying individuals live out their minutes, hours and days at Clarehouse, with the peace of knowing their needs are understood and they are not alone.

Peace

When my mother came as a guest to Clarehouse in 2008, I experienced the grace of God flowing through this wonderful home and everyone associated with it.  Three shifts of knowledgeable, skilled and compassionate caregivers met her physical needs much better than I could have.  They assumed the caregiving that would have otherwise overloaded me and devoured the last precious days.  Instead, Clarehouse gave my Mom and me the great blessing of uninterrupted time to do what only we could do--share memories, express feelings, revisit a lifetime as mother and daughter, be at peace, and finally say goodbye.

The precious time Clarehouse gave us together impacted me so greatly that I remember it vividly 9 years later.  This strong positive memory exists in spite

of Clarehouse's location at that time-- it occupied one section of an older apartment complex that had been converted for use as a home for dying people.  It was less-than-perfect physically, but the attentive care and compassion shone through.

Thanks to the wonderful community of Tulsa, the current Clarehouse is beautiful, large, perfectly designed for its use, and incredibly homelike and restful.  Yet, the excellent care and compassion remain undiminished.  Clarehouse provides a haven for people to reach life’s end with dignity and for families to find peace in the midst of grief.

Jan Smith

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Dignity.

It’s a simple act – washing a dear one’s face – yet it somehow restores a sense of dignity with calm presence, gentle touch, and recognition of the soul within. The need to be seen as a person is so basic as to be nearly forgotten in the chaotic maze of care in life-threatening situations. It won’t be forgotten here.

Dignity

Clarehouse is a one-of-a-kind resource for families across our entire community. The team of clinicians and support staff are there for everyone in the family, serving their needs, creating a peaceful and dignified environment for those in their last days. It is one of the best run health organizations in our region providing top quality care with compassion and flexibility with no cost to the individual or family. It is this model of care that I want our health professions students to see first hand.

During those student visits, I highlight how Clarehouse identified an unmet need in our community, put together an innovative team-based and non-profit model to meet that need and then executed their plan to perfection. In doing so, families in our community can concentrate on their loved ones during those precious last days.

Gerald Clancy, MD
Vice President for Health Affairs
The University of Tulsa

Love.

Extravagant love is our foundational value and motivates all we do. We are privileged to enter into people’s lives at a most personal and vulnerable time, and join a family’s walk on an unknown road. It’s our honor to become a part of your family.

LOVE

My great-grandmother was a guest at Clarehouse in 2007.  My daughter was 2 years old at the time and I remember thinking what a wonderful place to allow me and a toddler to stay overnight and be with our beloved "Gran K". The volunteers and staff were so kind and full of love and made us all feel at home.  It truly helped a difficult situation become more bearable. To be able to feel like we were at home with her and to know how well she was cared for before she left this Earth meant so much to our family. Years later, I felt called to serve others and it was the love received from those volunteers and staff at Clarehouse that lead me to become a volunteer myself. Whether it's talking with a guest or simply holding their hand, preparing a meal or giving a drink of

water, having a cup of coffee with a family member or lending a listening ear, greeting visitors at the front desk or giving a tour of the house; it all comes from a place of love and I feel honored to be a part of it. That 2-year-old is now a young lady and I am so grateful that she has chosen to see and feel for herself the love that Clarehouse embodies by choosing to volunteer alongside me.  The experiences of being a family member of a guest at Clarehouse and now volunteering here has been a blessing to me and my daughter Bella.

Autumn Kramer, Volunteer

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Warmth.

Families tell us they feel the hug from the minute they walk in the front door. Our home is filled with joy and laughter alongside the grief and tears. The coziness of the surroundings complement the loving hearts and hands of our staff and volunteers. Together, they create a physical and emotional experience of warmth where a house becomes home and strangers become friends.

Warmth

When going to LPN school, there’s not a lot of information given about end-of-life care and hospice.  I was given the opportunity to spend time with the guests and caregivers at Clarehouse.  I was amazed by the love, caring and genuine warmth of the caregivers as well as the house. 

I knew after I graduated nursing school I would be back at Clarehouse in some aspect, whether it was as a volunteer or as staff. I was given the opportunity to become a member of the wonderful staff at Clarehouse and I have loved every minute.

Leigh Pierce, LPN, Clarehouse Caregiver

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Joy.

When you are counting the days, you learn to treasure
the moments. Finding the joy in the details of life makes every moment more precious, more meaningful. One unexpected gift of Clarehouse is the opportunity to fully live each instance of joy and sorrow, the celebrations and the goodbyes, the laughter and the tears.

Joy

Clarehouse has created joy in so many ways as my family walked through our last days with my husband, Rob. Our room was part of nature out on the balcony with the birds, squirrels, and bunnies running around outside our room.  This was a wonderful blessing since my husband had grown up on a farm.

The staff was so amazing as they cared for my husband like he was family. Each year we continue to have joy making it a family affair.  The end of May, we go to Clarehouse and give our change we have saved throughout the year and have a matched donation.

What a privilege to give back to Clarehouse as they continue to give our family so much joy in remembering a Husband, a Dad, a Papa, a Brother and friend.

There is joy in the morning.
Psalm 30:5b

Rebecca Gibson