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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

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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

My husband Les died after eight days at Clarehouse, on November 4, 2015.

I remember that you dressed him after a bath in a t-shirt that was cut down the back. We provided the t-shirts.

On your website, one of the items on your Wish List is t-shirts. Les was a consummate bargain shopper and had hundreds of new and little worn t-shirts in his stash. I’ve recently begun to reduce the number of t-shirts in my closet and I want you to have them.

Thank you for the excellent care you provided him and the concern you extended to me and our family members while Les was a resident. I’ll never forget your kindness. Thank goodness that Clarehouse was available when we needed it. Because of you, we all experienced a peace of mind and comfort that only Clarehouse and staff could have provided.

Chris Matthies

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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

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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

I’ve always admired the nursing profession. Near my 50th birthday, a close friend who is an RN, told me, “it’s not too late for you.” I took a certified nurse assistant’s course, then applied to be a Clarehouse volunteer. As we’re told, love is the greatest gift. It plays out in various ways throughout the day and night at Clarehouse.

From laundered sheets, fresh coffee and made-to-order scrambled eggs, to sunshine pouring through the blinds off the balcony and having someone there if you need them– there is peace and a sense of home.

The staff, guests and their families are truly amazing. Miracles happen every day at Clarehouse. Lives are changed. Mine has been.

Cynthia Outlaw, 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