Friday, August 28, 2015

Feel Good Friday - Zen Hospice Project

I like Feel Good Friday to be a wide variety of stories from all around the world. Since we spent the last two weeks with talking trees in Australia and six year old superheroes in Singapore, it's time to bring it back to the United States and get serious.

Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco offers direct care, educational programs and inspirational support to both the dying and the living.  As stated on their website, "Our mission is to help change the experience of dying. We create space for living that offers the opportunity for individuals, their loved ones and caregivers to find comfort, connection and healing in this shared human experience. Through our pioneering model of care, we inspire each other to live fully."

They operate a 6-bed licensed residential care facility for the chronically ill known as the Guest House. It first opened in 1990 "as a community-based model to attend to those dying and in most need of support. As an early responder to the AIDS crisis, we provided care when others would not during this era of fear." Now they have a partnership with UCSF and host healthcare students and residents in addition to providing two beds for UCSF patients.

Zen Hospice also offers classes in mindful caregiving and has trained 1500 volunteer caregivers to date. They have 125 active volunteers who work both at the Guest House and also with hospice patients at Laguna Honda Hospital. Since they've been in operation, Zen Hospice has served more than 31,000 people in the Bay Area. 

To learn more about the impact they have had over the years you can listen to short stories told by people involved with Zen Hospice. You can also watch a 2 minute video and hear from the Executive Director BJ Miller or read a San Francisco Chronicle article about him from 2011. 

As always, to stay in the loop, like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @zenhospice

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