Making the holidays brighter at Chanukkah

Posted by Tami Miller, Jewish Care Services Ambassador

Making the holidays brighter at Chanukkah

For National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, JourneyCare is celebrating our thoughtful and caring staff and volunteers, who provide comfort and exceed expectations to make the holiday season joyful for our patients and their families.

As a Jewish Care Ambassador for JourneyCare, I’ve often thought of patients in our care during the holiday season and have felt badly that some of them, due to their advanced illnesses, are unable to enjoy the holidays to their fullest extent. This year as December begins, patients in our Jewish Care Services program will celebrate Chanukkah beginning the evening of Sunday, December 2 continuing through Sunday, December 9. Chanukkah is called the Festival of Lights, which is considered a joyous holiday and meant to remind us of the golden menorah in the time of the Temple with the miraculous jar of oil that lasted eight days.

Recently, I asked one of my Jewish patients about her Chanukkah plans. She responded sadly, “Holidays usually skip over me as my family goes to their other relatives out of state.” With her answer, I came to a new realization that in hospice and palliative care our Care Teams have specific ways to measure the physical pain of a patient, but we cannot measure someone’s feelings of isolation and loneliness. This patient seemed to be saying that it’s not her illness that prevents her from celebrating, rather it’s that she has no one to celebrate with.

This year, with others at JourneyCare, I have vowed to further reach out to our hospice and palliative care patients to brighten their holiday season — because there may be no greater gift than our presence. One phone call, one extra visit or any other way we can provide comfort and joy will let our patients know that they are not alone, and most of all, that we care.

That can’t be wrapped, but it can leave a lasting and meaningful memory.  

Jewish Care Services offered by JourneyCare combines the expertise of a comprehensive, nationally recognized hospice and palliative care program with specialized care that is sensitive to Jewish culture and traditions. Learn more on our website.

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