If you only had six months left to live, would you do anything differently? Perhaps revisit a cherished place, or try something that’s always been a source of fascination?

For many of our hospice patients, that’s where the Ridgefield Thrift Shop Hospice Fund at RVNAhealth comes in. The fund supports our hospice services that aren’t covered by Medicare or insurance — such as our make-a-wish program, music therapy, and family bereavement support — but still make a tremendous difference for patients and their loved ones.

Hospice patients and their families are encouraged to express what might be their ideal “memory making” moment. For example, when a woman learned that a long-cherished song would be sung at an upcoming church concert, we arranged for her to attend. We also recently helped a gentleman and his son go on a tour of some of the places and sights that framed his past in his hometown of Danbury.

“Accompanied by our home health professionals to ensure safety, and frequently transported via ambulette, it’s possible for our patients’ end-of-life dreams to come true,” said RVNAhealth Social Worker Cindy Merritt, LCSW.

The fund has also made it possible for us to hire a board-certified music therapist. Studies have found that music therapy positively affects patients’ quality of life by addressing their spectrum of needs: Physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, social and family support. Music therapy can also be used in the bereavement process, especially with children mourning a loss.

Created in 2018, the Ridgefield Thrift Shop Hospice Fund at RVNAhealth is an extension of an 82-year relationship between the Thrift Shop and RVNAhealth.

“In 1937, the Thrift Shop was actually created to support the work of what was then known as the District Nursing Association,” said RVNAhealth Director of Philanthropy MJ Heller. “We are grateful for their board’s desire to help honor patients’ wishes and create memories during this most vulnerable time.”

To learn more about RVNAhealth Hospice Services, call 203-438-5555 or visit RVNAhealth.org.

Theresa Santoro