Celebration of Life Event

Celebration of Life Event

May 13, 2015

Dealing with the death of a loved one is difficult, and no one should grieve alone.

Memorial Family of Services invites you to a celebration of life service to remember your loved one and all those we have loved and lost.

The service will be held Wednesday, May 13, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Cottage in the Meadow, located at 1208 S. 48th Ave., Yakima. The service includes a small memorial ceremony, music and refreshments and is offered at no charge by The Memorial Foundation. Parking is limited, so carpooling is encouraged.

For more information about this event or about Memorial’s bereavement services, call Julie Cicero (SIS-er-oh) at 574-3670 or visit www.yakimamemorial.org.

Memorial seeks volunteers for hospice and palliative care programs

A geriatrician holds the hand of an elderly woman with arthritis.

It’s difficult living with a life-limiting illness. Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital’s hospice and palliative care programs provide services to people suffering a life-limiting illness and their families.

But these programs rely heavily on volunteers. Whether it’s a home hospice program or the Transitions palliative care program, volunteers provide vital services and information to families in need.

They may handle light meal preparation, housekeeping or medication delivery. They provide companionship – maybe helping to make a quilt, style someone’s hair or reading aloud.

Memorial is seeking people who may be interested in volunteering for its hospice and palliative care programs. Volunteers must meet certain requirements and complete several hours of specialized training.

For more information, call (509) 574-3655.

Five Wishes is more than a living will

Five Wishes is more than a living will. It lets you choose the person you want to make health care decisions for you if you are not able to make them for yourself. It lets you say exactly how you wish to be treated if you get seriously ill. It’s easy to use – all you have to do is check a box, circle a direction or write a few sentences. And it’s recognized in 42 states – including Washington – and the District of Columbia.

Memorial is holding seminars to help people in our community complete the 5 Wishes advance directive:

  • Tuesday, April 28, 7:30 a.m. (Classroom B) and noon (Memorial auditorium)
  • Tuesday, May 5, 7:30 a.m. and noon (auditorium)
  • Wednesday, May 13, 7:30 a.m. and noon (auditorium)


Memorial Chaplain Laurie Oswalt appeared on KIT 1280 on April 21, 2015, to discuss the 5 Wishes and encourage people to attend these seminars.


So what are the five wishes?

Wish No. 1: Who do you want to make health care decisions for you when you can’t make them for yourself?

This allows you to designate a durable power of attorney, which is legal in Washington. Choose someone who knows you very well, cares about you and who can make difficult decisions. A spouse or family member may not be the best choice because they are too emotionally involved. Sometimes, they are the BEST choice. It depends on the situation. But choose someone who is able to stand up for you so that your wishes are followed.


Wish No. 2 is your wish for the kind of medical treatment you want or don’t want.

Wish No. 2 is the living will that describes acceptable and unacceptable medical treatment. Life support treatment means any medical procedure, device or medication to keep you alive. It includes medical devices to help breathe, food and water supplied by tube, CPR, major surgery, blood transfusions, antibiotics and anything else meant to keep you alive. This wish allows you to choose if you want life-support treatment, if you don’t want it or want it stopped if it has been started, or if you want it only if your doctor believes it could help your condition.

Another two-page form allows you to summarize your wishes for end-of-life treatment, to be kept in your file for the future. The Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment – or POLST form – lists a set of medical orders that are intended to guide emergency medical treatment for people with advanced illness.

Wish No. 3 is your wish for how comfortable you want to be.

Do you want your doctor to administer medicine to relieve your pain? Do you want your caregivers to do whatever they can to help you if you show signs of depressions, nausea, shortness of breath or hallucinations? Do you want your lips and mouth kept moist to stop dryness? Do you want religious readings and well-loved poems read aloud when you are near death?

This is about exactly what it says: making you as comfortable as you want to be when you are near the end of your life.

Wish No. 4 is your wish for how you want people to treat you.

Do you want people with you? Do you want to have your hand held, even if you don’t seem to respond to the voice or touch of others? Do you want people nearby praying for you? Do you want to die at home?

Wish No. 5 is to ensure your loved ones know what you want them to know when your time is near.

You wish for your family and friends to know that you love them, and for them to respect your wishes even if they don’t agree with them. You want them to respect your choice to be buried or cremated.



Generosity of Spirit Multiplied

Generosity of Spirit Multiplied
By Laurie Oswalt, M.Div.
Director of Spiritual Care at Memorial
I was in the basement of Memorial Hospital one morning, walking past an area where furniture waits to be repaired. I overheard one employee tell another about an extravagant wheelchair that had been donated by a family after their loved one had died, and the employee didn’t know what to do with it. In typical fashion, I interrupted the two employees, saying, “I know EXACTLY what to do with it!” I took it and put it in my office, then I contacted my friend, Ted Cowan from the Naches Lions Club and asked if he could use it. Could he ever!!
The Naches Lions Club has a program for receiving, and loaning out, medical equipment to patients in our area. The Lions Club has a barn in Naches where all of the equipment is stored—it’s an amazing space, where everything from canes to commodes to crutches, from wheelchairs to hospital beds, from lift chairs to bath chairs is housed. People are welcome to borrow equipment, at no cost. When the equipment is no longer needed, then the equipment is returned…often with more medical equipment that has accumulated in the family garage.
This program works for two reasons: it’s an inexpensive way to meet a need in our community, and equipment is borrowed and returned…and more is donated. If you have any medical equipment that you would like to offer to the Lions Club medical equipment program, please contact Ted Cowan of the Naches Lions Club: (509) 653-2486.
Now, what about that great wheelchair that was in my office? Well, apparently the people I explained the program to (the ones who gave me the wheelchair) thought it was such a great program that they decided to add to it; I left my office to go to a meeting, and by the time I got back, my extravagant wheelchair had multiplied to TWO wheelchairs!

Memorial on KIT1280: Managing spring allergies

We’re entering spring allergy season, and those who suffer from allergies know all too well the misery this time of year brings.  Dr. Ryan Black of Yakima Ear, Nose & Throat offers some tips for avoiding and treating allergies.

Here are some stats to consider:

  • 50 million Americans suffer allergies.  That’s 30 percent of adults and up to 40 percent of children.
  • Allergic rhinitis, more commonly known as hay fever, can be seasonal or affect people year round.  Seasonal allergies are triggered by pollens from trees, grasses or weeds or airborne mold spores.
  • Immunotherapy (allergy shots) helps reduce hay fever symptoms in about 85 percent of people.
  • Allergies are rarely life-threatening, but if you consider the millions of dollars spent on anti-allergy medications and the cost of lost work or school time, this is no small problem.

What are some tips for managing symptoms?

  • Know your allergy. You may think you know what’s causing your allergy symptoms, but more than two-thirds of spring allergy sufferers actually have year-round allergies. An allergist can perform tests to pinpoint the cause of your symptoms and identify how to treat them.
  • Don’t wait too long to take allergy meds. Don’t wait until symptoms kick in and you’re already suffering. Instead, prepare by taking medication that has worked for you in the past just before the season starts.
  • Steer clear of your allergy triggers. If you have a pollen allergy, make sure you keep your windows shut, take a shower when you come inside and stay indoors during mid-day when pollen counts are highest. These things can improve how you feel.
  • Avoid produce and other foods that might aggravate sniffles and sneezing. If your mouth, lips and throat get itchy and you sniffle and sneeze after eating certain raw or fresh fruits or other foods, you may have “oral allergy syndrome.” The condition, which affects about one third of seasonal allergy sufferers, occurs in people who are already allergic to pollen when their immune system sees a similarity between the proteins of pollen and those of the food, and triggers a reaction. If you are allergic to tree pollen, for example, foods like apples, cherries, pears, apricots, kiwis, oranges, plums, almonds, hazelnut and walnuts may bother you. Cooking or peeling the food may help.

What about allergy shots?

People with moderate to severe symptoms could benefit from immunotherapy or allergy shots.

Immunotherapy for allergies works by exposing the immune system to small amounts of an allergen. Over time and in increasingly larger doses, the body learns not to see it as a foreign invader and develops a tolerance to it. If neither over the counter or prescription medications do the trick, and you’re suffering miserably through spring, fall, or both, then allergy shots may be the answer for you.

  • You can build up effectiveness in a matter of a few months.
  • After properly identifying what you are allergic to through testing different allergies such as trees, grass, weeds, molds, and indoor allergens, the process of desensitization begins. The build-up phase of all allergy shots typically takes about 5 weeks. Two times a week, you visit your allergist’s office for a couple of hours. You get one shot, and then wait, and then get another shot later in the visit.
  • Once a patient has reached the maintenance phase of immunotherapy, then a weekly injection of what you are individually allergic to can be given. Most patients who are comfortable with the injections can then have these administered by a family member at home for convenience.
  • This weekly injection continues for a three to five year time. Studies show that if a patient will put the time into desensitization, the same effect can persist for another three to five years without doing anything.

For those who are nervous about needles, there is an option of desensitization through sublingual drops. A vast majority of patients on immunotherapy are very happy that they chose to pursue treatment.

To learn more about how to better manage your allergy symptoms or for more information, visit yakimaent.com or contact the allergy clinic at Yakima Ear Nose & Throat at 575-1000.

Breastfeeding Support Group at Memorial

Breastfeeding Support Group at Memorial

Bring your breastfeeding baby and join certified breastfeeding educators, maternal child health nurses and other moms for support, encouragement, ideas and evidence based problem solving. Expectant moms are also encouraged to attend.

When: Wednesdays from 3 – 4:30pm
Location:  Memorial Maternal Health
Address: 2903 W Walnut Avenue, Yakima WA
(located just North of the Hospital)
Coordinator: Annie Kunkel
Phone:  509 575-8160

No charge to participants or registration required.


Memorial offers education and training on advance directives

Two workshops to be held Tuesday, April 7
Does your physician know what medical treatment you want – and don’t want – in the event that you’re in an accident or diagnosed with a terminal illness? Does your family know your wishes?

Five Wishes is a living will that makes your wishes known. It’s user-friendly and straightforward to complete, and it meets the legal requirements for living wills in 42 states, including Washington.
Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital is conducting Five Wishes workshops to give you an opportunity to go through the Five Wishes booklet and learn how to complete it.

Two workshops will be held on Tuesday, April 7, from 7:30-8:30 a.m. and from 12-1 p.m. in the Memorial Auditorium, located in the lower level of the hospital at 2811 Tieton Drive, Yakima.
For more information, visit Memorial’s calendar of events online at yakimamemorial.org.

Memorial offers grief recovery workshop

Memorial offers grief recovery workshop
8-week program begins April 2

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital is offering a grief recovery workshop for anyone dealing with a loss such as a death, divorce, loss of relationship or identity.

The course is centered around personal discovery, with homework-style exercises designed to help you focus on grief recovery.

The workshop will run for eight consecutive Thursdays. The first class is Thursday, April 2, from 5:15-6:30 p.m. at Cottage in the Meadow hospice home, located at 1208 S. 48th Ave. in Yakima. The cost is $20, payable on the first day of class. That covers the course, book and materials.

Call 574-3670 for more information or to register.

Couch to 5K

So, you’ve spent the winter months curled up on the couch watching television. Now, you’re ready to get outside and start exercising.

Jeff Yamada, Memorial Vice President and Chief Information Officer, started running a few years ago and now is an avid marathoner. He’s here today to offer tips for getting started – a couch to 5K plan – and Joel Buffum of Memorial Sports Medicine Advantage has some reminders for avoiding injuries.

What are the benefits of a couch to 5K plan?

  • Daily exercise – lose weight, gain energy
  • Eating healthy whole foods – food as fuel
  • Find a friend or group – meeting new friends, go to new places
  • Have fun!

Jeff’s tips: Find your motivation. Pick a goal and sign up for a race. Keep it consistent and keep it fun.

How to avoid injury:

It’s best to follow FITT principles: Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type.

  • If you’re not familiar with running a 5k start by loading up endurance to activity with walking a 5k, and gradually introducing running to the load.
  • The actual movement of running is more ballistic that walking so make sure to integrate strengthening/stretching techniques of the ankle, knee and hip to prevent compensations. Stretch before and after each run.
  • Don’t push too hard; let yourself recover. If you are intentionally pushing yourself hard on Monday, be aware that it isn’t realistic to push yourself equally hard or harder on Tuesday. Mix up your intensities/times to prevent injury and stagnation.

Are their special shoes you to buy?

There are hundreds of different athletic shoes, with many different purposes, made by people with different perspectives on purpose. If you goal is to run, purchase a stable running shoe for your needs. “Cool” shoes aren’t always good running shoes. Consult an expert if you can’t find what you need.

  • But take care of your feet! A hot spot is a blister waiting for you to look the other way. Blisters make running NOT FUN!

What’s the biggest mistake people make?

People need to know their limitations.

  • A perfect running gait is as rare as a perfect swing/pitch/lift/etc. Train to the limits of your current abilities, with a structured training program, and use the proper tools that work for you. Pushing yourself as hard as possible while developing compensations may allow you to get an extra mile in today, but in the long term can lead to overuse injuries, and then you end up with me. (Joel)

Remember to hydrate! And remember, no matter how slow you go, you’re lapping everyone on the couch.