Life showers us with different tokens, big and small —from family, friends, good health, and career, to the chance to share a warm hug with your grandchildren or an act of kindness from a stranger in the grocery. Each day is a surprise and it is within our reach to look closer and recognize our own blessings as well as be a blessing to others.
Last Monday, November 21, Transitions Hospice social worker Alexandria Vernasco, LCSW, was invited to be a guest lecturer at the Lewis University in Romeoville, IL. Allie spoke to 50 students currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Social Work Program at the university. She had the opportunity to make a positive impact and educate the students about the role of a hospice and palliative care social worker within the interdisciplinary team. She also talked about the differences between hospice and palliative care and shared some personal insights on the meaningful work experience caring for hospice patients brings her.
The students were excited to hear about hospice as a career choice in social work and were inspired by Allie’s sharing. “I was thrilled to be able to include Transitions values and the importance of recognizing the uniqueness of each individual patient. I encouraged the students to remember that hospice focuses on living for today. As hospice workers, we honor the present and focus on making every day the best day possible,” she eagerly shared.
Allie took the opportunity to pass out POLST forms (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) to all the students and discussed the impact and importance of advance directives, regardless of age or health status. Despite end of life wishes being a sensitive topic which is hard to talk about for many, its importance cannot be ignored. Allie encouraged students to take the forms home over the holiday break and be brave enough to start that conversation in their own families.
Thanksgiving is only a day away and in celebration of gratitude, we hope that like these students, you will be able to share the light to your families. Open the conversation and give your loved ones the gift of peace of mind as a token of love and thankfulness.