Purchase your Hospice Daffodils online today! They are $5 per bunch, $24 for five bunches and $46 for 10 bunches. They will be ready for pick up on March 15 at the Steamboat Springs and Craig VNA offices on March 15. All proceeds benefit the VNA’s Hospice and Palliative Care program. For more information, call 970-871-7609.
Looking out on winter scenes from her studio in North Routt County, you wouldn’t think watercolor artist Barb Ross would be thinking about daffodils. But months before the blooms grace her garden, they grace her easel as artwork that will eventually appear on posters for the annual Hospice Daffodils fundraiser. The longtime event raises funds for the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association’s Hospice and Palliative Care program. Come March 15, the bright heralds of spring will adorn offices, schools, businesses and homes throughout the Yampa Valley.
Ross has created art for the event posters for more than a decade. She brainstorms ideas all year, gathering images of the flowers and thinking of new ways to bring them to life on paper. She begins painting in December, producing a variety of prints for the VNA to choose from for that year’s signature image. “Each year is just a matter of trying to do something different and finding things that might go well with the flowers,” she said.
For 2016, she found inspiration in blue-hued jars, cowboy boots and purple asters. Images not chosen for the posters are available as greeting cards. Ross developed a personal connection to hospice as a volunteer, helping support patients and their families in ways members of her own family had been comforted by hospice at the end of life. Like many hospice volunteers, she found the experience deeply rewarding and meaningful. “I received far more than I could ever give because it makes life so immediate,” she said. “It becomes clear to you what’s important.”
Hospice provides medical care and comfort to individuals whose illness or condition is unlikely to be cured. Hospice staff focus on maintaining or improving a patient’s quality of life, easing pain and addressing physical, emotional and spiritual needs that can accompany terminal illness. Hospice also supports families with practical assistance with meals, errands and other tasks and grief support for up to a year following a loved one’s death.
“Hospice is about family and how we can support them through (in most cases) the hardest journey they have ever faced,” said Julie Gates, clinical supervisor of Home Services. “If we can help ease some of the stress and confusion, and make our patients comfortable so they can have quality time with the ones they love during this part of their life, we have succeeded.”
The hospice teams includes medical directors, nurses, physical therapists, Certified Nurse Aides, medical social workers, a spiritual care and bereavement coordinator and volunteers. They provide care and support in patients’ homes, hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. “Our hospice team are the most exceptional group of individuals that I have ever had the privilege to work with,” Gates said.
Hospice is available to individuals with a life prognosis of six months or less. Care is provided regardless of their ability to pay. Costs of medications, medical equipment and other aspects of care often exceed reimbursement from insurance. Fundraisers such as Hospice Daffodils and private donations help cover this gap. For more information about VNA Hospice and Palliative Care, call 970-871-7692.