Starting in 2006 with just 74 motorcyclists, the Last Mile Ride has grown into three days of fundraising activities that include a bicycle ride, timed 5K, two different walking routes and a motorcycle ride.
Last Mile Event funds bring patients alternative therapies like Reiki, massage, and music therapy to help with pain management. They also provide unique services to support family members: providing meals for those spending last moments with loved ones in the hospital’s two Garden Room suites, helping with transportation costs for the far-away families, or arranging for photographs or a patient’s special last wish.
End-of-Life Care at Gifford
Gifford provides special care in two special garden-side suites, for patients at the end of life and support their grieving families. The ride was created by Gifford motorcycle rider and nurse Lynda McDermott to support the Garden Room and special services for patients in advanced illness and at the end of life. Some of these services occur in the Garden Room and some are for those coping with advanced illness at home or choosing to die at home.
These special services include comfort measures, such as massage, acupuncture, Reiki and music therapy. Family services, such as meals for those staying with their loved one in the Garden Room, bereavement help, and professional photos of your loved one, are often provided and medicines if necessary. And one-time gifts support a huge variety of individual wishes. Past wishes have included everything from a trip to a Red Sox game to a handicap ramp, a life celebration to an ambulance ride home at the end, gas cards for travel to doctors’ visits to a lift chair.
All free services provided through Gifford’s palliative and end-of-life care program are a direct result of the Last Mile Ride. To request assistance through the Last Mile Ride, talk to your or your loved one’s Gifford health care provider. He or she can work with the program to access funds.
Call us at (802) 728-2380 for further details.
Some of the services the Last Mile Ride has supported:
- Massages, Acupuncture & Reiki for pain management
- Legacy Projects professional photos of patients and families.
- Special wishes for one-time family grants are available, as appropriate and depending on funding. Past grants have provided estate planning, family travel expenses and more.
- Riverbend hospice singing group (available to sing at the patients’ bedsides)
- Comfort Cart food carts for patients’ families while in the hospital.
- Comfort Kits for end-of-life patients, which include a beautiful prayer shawl, reading materials, and more.