I recently became a Hospice Volunteer (Byron was only in hospice for four days before he died on 29 June 2009, but I was so impressed by the care he was given). The hospice I'm volunteering with is not the same one that cared for him, but a local one.
I've been assigned someone to visit weekly, a 94-year-old lady living in an assisted living facility. I was taken by the hospice Volunteer Coordinator to visit the site and meet her. The place is called 'Pacifica Senior Care', in Chino Hills, California, and I must say I was impressed with the cleanliness, decor, friendliness of the staff and the entire facility - we've all heard the horror stories, and this place was none of them.
While I was waiting to meet the lady, I observed the residents, most of which I judged to be 25 -40 years older than me (I'm a 1958 Baby). All were using canes or walkers (one gentleman had a mobility scooter). Before Byron's death, I wanted to explore us moving into such a place, because he would have had someone to monitor him during the day while I worked (he could no longer walk, and he had other health issues). The price would have not been that much more than the apartment we were renting at the time, and he would have had transportation and activities available - he wouldn't hear of it!
The residents seemed cheerful and well-dressed; they interacted with each other and the staff. The facility also has an Alzheimer's section, which is secured against residents wandering off.
I found myself wondering if he had lived, could I see myself and Byron living in such a place, what it feels like, being an advanced age. How do the staff deal with reality of death of the people they serve, come to know, even love, since most of the residents are in their 80's and 90's?
All of us have come to grips with death way too soon.....
I would love to volunteer for a Hospice How did you get started?
I would love to volunteer for hospice how did you get started?
sorry didn't mean to write it twice.
Greetings, Jane -
The hospice I'm volunteering with had a notice in our church bulletin, with contact information ...but most hospices always need volunteers, so I'm pretty sure if you call a local one, they'll connect you with their Volunteer Services person. Some folks visit patients, others work in the hospice office or other areas - it depends upon your interest and inclination!
Best wishes to you in volunteering - Yaca Attwood Perkins
Thank you, I will give the Hospice in my neighbor hood a call.
I too volunteer with the hospice here in Charlotte. I am from Seattle originally but after Douglas's death in 2009, my retirement in 2011 I made the decision to move to NC and spend family time with my daughter and grandchildren. Hospice is a wonderful organization. I am forever grateful for the loving care and respect that Douglas received from the Evergreen Hospice Center located in Kirkland, WA. I make a monetary contribution every year in his name. I miss Douglas every day but can smile again without bursting into tears or feeling guilty for making strides to move forward. He may not be with me in the physical sense but he will always be with me in spirit and in my heart.