September is Pain Awareness Month

ADLERCENTER-1smallADLERCENTER-7smallRecognized since 2001, Pain Awareness Month increases awareness of the many ways pain impacts individuals, families, and communities, while also offering support and treatment options to individuals. At Capital Caring, many of the moms, dads, and kids who come to us facing advanced illnesses also suffer severe pain due to their individual conditions or to the side-effects of treatments.

We know that pain and discomfort cannot wait, so Capital Caring cares for our patients the way we would want members of our own families treated. We seek to reduce pain to manageable levels (0-2 out of 10) within 48 hours of bringing a new patient into care, and we alleviate stress associated with shortness of breath within 24 hours. Pain and distress do not need to be part of advanced illness, and Capital Caring’s clinical teams are dedicated to quality care that meet these outcomes.

Our Center for Pain and Palliative Care, located at the Capital Caring Adler Center on the Van Metre Campus, is the only such facility of its kind and offers comprehensive interventional pain support and palliative care counseling for individuals with advanced disease symptoms that impact their quality of life. The CPPC can provide relief from side effects of chemotherapy, restlessness for those with dementia, shortness of breath exacerbated by COPD, and other symptoms associated with a wide array of advanced illnesses.

How does pain impact your life or the life of a loved one? Please contact Capital Caring at www.capitalcaring.org or call us at 800-869-2136, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and let us help you.


Happy Labor Day!

LaborDay2017Labor Day celebrates American workers – our achievements, contributions, and dedication to supporting those in our communities. Fortunately, most of us are able to celebrate “our day” by relaxing and enjoying time with friends and family as we say goodbye to summer and look forward to autumn. At Capital Caring, we celebrate our employees' achievements and contributions every day – we are grateful that so many individuals brought their passion for service to Capital Caring. Each of our colleagues consistently live our mission to simply improve care, and their actions impact the lives of our neighbors across the mid-Atlantic region every day of the year.

While many of us are enjoying the holiday, we know our work does not take a break – hospice care is a 24/7 calling. Those who are working today and living our core values are an example to all of us of the care we have provided for 40 years and will continue to provide for many years into the future.

Whether they are working today or not, we are so appreciative of all Capital Caring's employees for your achievements, contributions, and your dedication.


Capital Caring Celebrates a Local “Center of Excellence”

Powhatan1On August 18, Capital Caring presented the Center of Excellence award to Bev Greene, the administrator at Powhatan Nursing Home, noting the facility’s commitment to caring for those facing advanced illness. The Centers of Excellence program, launched earlier this year, is a partnership between Capital Caring and select long-term care facilities recognized for providing world-class and compassionate end-of-life care. Organizations chosen as Centers of Excellence combine their own staff expertise in caring for others with additional education and training from Capital Caring’s clinical, spiritual, and emotional case management teams, all with the goal of simply improving care for individuals with advanced illnesses.

“It is fitting that we recognize our friends at Powhatan,” said Rev. Carolyn Richar, Executive Director of Capital Caring’s Arlington neighborhood. “Powhatan and Capital Caring first came together more than 30 years ago to provide hospice care for residents here. Facility-based hospice care began in Arlington here at Powhatan because of the foresight and concern for residents shared by the administrator at that time, J.T. Butler, and Dr. Josefina Magno, who founded Capital Caring in 1977.”

“I remember meeting Dr. Magno way back when,” said Cyndi Butler, the daughter of the late J.T. Butler, and current owner of Powhatan Nursing Home. “Some of the nurses were nervous about what it would mean to provide hospice care here, but we are proud of our partnership with Capital Caring and know we have been able to provide incredible care for so many more of our residents than we otherwise could have done. I’m grateful for this award and for Capital Caring’s recognition.”

Powhatan Nursing Home joins Carroll Manor Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Elizabeth Adam Crump Health and Rehabilitation, The Fountains at Washington House, Heritage Hall Leesburg, and Potomac Falls Health & Rehab Center as Centers of Excellence recognized since the program’s launch in early 2017.


“40 for 40” Goes Live!

As part of our 40th anniversary celebration, Capital Caring just launched it “40 for 40” campaign, an interactive online project to encourage our patients, donors, neighbors, staff, and others whose lives we have touched since 1977 to share their reflections of the impact we have had on them and their families. The “40 for 40” project will share at least 40 stories of compassion from our expansive network throughout the mid-Atlantic region. As the oldest and largest nonprofit hospice provider in our area, Capital Caring has cared for nearly 110,000 moms, dads, and kids in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC, since being founded by committed volunteers in Northern Virginia.

Capital Caring was founded on the belief that everyone facing advanced illness needs access to compassionate care that addresses what matters most and ensures they and their families are comfortable, so it is particularly fitting, as we celebrate our 40th anniversary year, that we are launching this new and interactive campaign to give voice to those whose lives we have touched throughout our service area. Our mission at Capital Caring is to simply improve care, and we are so excited that this project will give us an opportunity to hear how we have impacted the lives of so many in our community.”

The “40 for 40” campaign can be found at capitalcaring.org/40-for-40.


40 for 40: Craig Fisher's Story

My husband Craig was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer the day before his 61st birthday. That's a vicious disease, and he didn't even make it six months from that date. We relied so heavily on Capital Caring to help take care of him, take him to the hospital for his infusions, bring him his medications, and visit him, because I was working about an hour away from home and needed to hang onto my new job, through which we had our health insurance. He believed the Capital Caring staff and volunteers were true angels and spent the last few months of his life exhorting everybody to become a volunteer. I had to let a few year go by before I was emotionally ready, but as soon as that time came, I fulfilled my promise to him and became a Capital Caring volunteer. And I continue to be aware that everybody associated with this organization really is an angel. -- Gail Fisher


40 for 40: Gail Fisher

My husband Craig was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer the day before his 61st birthday. That's a vicious disease, and he didn't even make it six months from that date. We relied so heavily on Capital Caring to help take care of him, take him to the hospital for his infusions, bring him his medications, and visit him, because I was working about an hour away from home and needed to hang onto my new job, through which we had our health insurance. He believed the CC staff and volunteers were true angels and spent the last few months of his life exhorting everybody to become a volunteer. I had to let a few year go by before I was emotionally ready, but as soon as that time came, I fulfilled my promise to him and became a CC volunteer. And I continue to be aware that everybody associated with this organization really is an angel.


40 for 40: Deacon Beasley's Story

Deacon Beasley hailed originally from North Carolina, though he and his family settled in Petersburg, Virginia, after he completed his Army service. With a strong faith, Deacon Beasley devoted as much time as possible to ministry; he sang in the Gospel Unlimited Choir and served with the Southside Jail and Prison Ministry for more than 30 years. He assisted ex-offenders as they transitioned back into society by providing clothes, transportation, housing, employment opportunities, and housing support. His family referred to Deacon Beasley as a “living example” of Luke 4:18 –

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recover of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.”

Like Deacon Beasley, Capital Caring is passionate about caring for all those who need our support. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to support everyone who reaches out to us, whether they are in Largo (MD) or Leesburg (VA), Richmond (VA) or Washington (DC), Morgantown (WV) or anywhere in between. Just as Deacon Beasley was called to care for others, all of us at Capital Caring are passionate about providing care, comfort, and a warm hug to all those facing advanced illness.

We are so grateful for the time we spent with Deacon Beasley and his extended family and thank them for allowing us to walk with them during Deacon Beasley’s final journey.


40 for 40: Cici Schultz's Story

Having been on the receiving end of care of Capital Caring's services in 1997, I met a volunteer who was assigned to my father. I always watched him and wondered what inspired him to visit twice a week, sitting quietly when naps took over, or reading the newspaper to a surprisingly inquisitive audience. My mother wouldn't admit that she needed the respite, but would return from personal errands relieved and rejuvenated. I realized then that the volunteer was here for the whole family, not only for the person in the bed.

When my father passed, this volunteer wrote us the kindest note about him and his love for his three girls. That resonated with me. 23 years later, my mother was in the same patient situation. I moved her in with me, became her nurse and advocate (as many of us do). When she passed, it was time to give back to the wonderful caregivers I had relied on.

As a committed volunteer, I know that my service helps the family. Often the patients don't need much, but the spouses, children, parents, and others rely on me to be a calm presence, one who has been in their shoes, one who will hold their hands through their darkest of times. My fondest memories with patients are the times when they are acknowledging the real love surrounding them, they are in gratitude and are feeling nothing but support. Those are the times that fill my soul. Those are the times when I know that this service makes a difference. As a (self proclaimed) "grief ambassador," I will help to minimize fear and confusion, offering unconditional support. I always think about my dad's volunteer and wonder, what made him sign up, who filled up his soul?


40 for 40: Gina Bell's Story

"I am so full of love and gratitude for Capital Caring."

I was diagnosed in 2015 with stage 3 breast cancer at age 56. I had chemo, then surgery. I then developed Congestive Heart Failure, which was a result of the chemotherapy. My cardiologist referred me to Capital Caring. I had palliative care, and was then admitted to hospice. I live at home with my mom.

I want to tell you about the Capital Caring staff who have become an important part of my life:

Kathy McLaughlin is my RN Case Manager. I am so glad that Kathy is my nurse. She’s efficient, super knowledgeable, warm, caring, and makes me feel good at every visit and phone call. We get along really well. She is a "top notch" nurse and always makes me feel comfortable. We have great conversations, and when she visits, I know I have nothing to worry about.

I have had 3 hospice chaplains during my time with Capital Caring: Janae Moore, Laird Thomasson, and Carla Thompson. They are all wonderful. Laird, in particular, always had something good to say and often said, “You have a place here.”

I love my social worker, Maria McKain. She is awesome. She worked with a couple local nonprofit organizations to help me get a free grocery delivery service and house cleaning for women with cancer.

Dr. Elizabeth Phan also visits me. I am a huge fan. She is a "firecracker" and always makes me smile, and my HHAs, Berekti and Sosina, are great.

The call center people are wonderful, and I appreciate their daily calls to check on me. I love talking to them. They make my day.

I am so full of love and gratitude for Capital Caring. They make me feel like they care about me as an individual. I smile a lot. I am doing pretty "darn tooting" good. I owe a big thanks to Capital Caring. Capital Caring has been a big blessing in my life.


40 for 40: Dennis Morley's Story

“Dennis left a distinct imprint that lingers,” said Kirsten Morley, Dennis’ wife of 19 years.  He was “outgoing, funny, and had a soft, big heart. He would do anything for a friend.” Dennis carried his love and compassion into his life in a variety of ways, including as a husband, father of four, elementary school teacher, music lesson instructor, drummer, and performer. He absolutely loved introducing kids to music!

Kirsten shares that she continues to feel Dennis’ presence in the way their children, Sarah, Elizabeth, Andrew, and Brian live each day. His goofy sense of humor and funny nicknames for family members, pets, and friends continue to be remembered with a smile. One of Dennis’ professional colleagues shares that it was Dennis who kept people positive and connected in the workplace. Dennis taught music, but he also taught kids and adults how to listen to and value one another.

Dennis loved his family and life so much that he fought with all of his might, for a long time, to keep carrying on as normal. When he had done all he possibly could, Dennis gracefully accepted what was to come. His priority was ensuring his wife and children were well taken care of and that their futures would be secure. With the help of the Capital Caring team, Dennis was able to express his thoughts and his love during his final moments with his family.

“Capital Caring anticipated our every need,” says Kirsten. She continues that she and Dennis felt supported and well cared for by each person who contributed to his care team. Kirsten is grateful for the excellent care that Capital Caring provided them during this very difficult time.

Though she misses her husband deeply, Kirsten is sure that his memory will live on forever in the hearts and music of so many young people and adults who were blessed just to know Dennis Morley. And, in honor of Dennis, Capital Caring’s Fredericksburg neighborhood implemented a special "Music for Caring" program. An ambitious high school junior, Jackson Hoit, made “Music for Caring” his special school project. As a result, he and a handful of dedicated teen volunteers have been enriching the lives of Capital Caring’s moms, dads and kids with their beautiful music since Dennis’ passing in September of 2016.