Volunteering for Hospice
A Message from Steve Willey & Volunteer Testimony from Nancy
Volunteers are often asked, “How can you do this?” Volunteer frequently respond, “How can I not?” One of the reasons volunteers keep coming back to the work of Hospice over and over has to do with the deep connections they make with their patients and families. And these connections are often found in unlikely places and in unlikely ways. During this time of Social Distancing and Sheltering in Place, connection is more important even as it is more difficult. Visits most often are by phone and sometimes, though rarely, video chat. A simple phone call can draw a patient or caregiver momentarily out of the feeling that they are in this alone. Volunteers have always been challenged by communicating with those who can’t communicate in traditional ways. They do, though. And in almost every instance there is magic in these connections. Even at life’s end there is enchantment to be found.
Sprightly Effervescence by Nancy Inman, Hospice Volunteer
Yesterday I visited my 94-year old Hospice patient. He is confused, reduced since last week to “word salad,” unable to make a coherent sentence. Yet, he still talks incessantly in spite of being unable to keep his facts straight about anything. I interacted with him with interest and compassion, remembering, at times, to inwardly sing, hum and to stay in a centered, attentive place. Beyond all his words I sensed a sparkle or bubbling lightness that enlivened our interaction. I didn’t see light but sensed it in a very real way, Soul to Soul. I stayed present, experiencing this tangible, though not visible momentary sparkle. I sensed it as a sprightly effervescence. At the end of an hour I took leave promising to return next week. I feel grateful for this moment of enchantment.
We are so thankful for volunteers like Nancy who help make what we do possible. During these challenging times, while safe medical care is our priority, so is human connection. We are grateful to be able to provide our isolated patients with that momentary connection they need to not feel so alone. Our work would be impossible without the dedication of our volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering with us, feel free to give us a call at 805-547-7025.