One of the special trademarks of our Providence Hospice service is a strong group of volunteers. Over the years, the volunteers have added a special layer of comfort to patients and their families by giving selflessly of their time and talents.
When the pandemic began, volunteer efforts scaled back, but they did not disappear. This summer, as things have slowly begun to open up, volunteers began getting back to visits with patients and have been taking along the pocket-sized Life Review Questions booklet we created to help engage patients in meaningful conversation. They have been able to learn amazing things about our patients, like their fishing adventures in Canada, their wartime stories, how they met their lovely spouses, and their past careers.
Here are some examples of our volunteers offering efforts to help, in ways both big and small:
- Mike, a volunteer who visits at Victorian Village, noticed the bird feeder outside one of his patient’s window was empty, so he bought some birdseed, brought it over, and filled it. This brought joy to our patient.
- A group of crafters met up in Hobart, Indiana, on a Sunday afternoon in June to make a batch of fidget lap blankets for our patients. This is above and beyond the regular lap blankets they normally make.
- Another volunteer remembers to bring a deck of cards with him on visits so that he and his patient get a couple of good games of War in before each visit ends.
- Our volunteer, Linda, opens the curtains to let the sunshine in when she visits her patient and then sings hymns at the bedside for her patient, who mouths the words along with her.
- A new volunteer has found that sitting bedside and reading aloud to her patient helps her patient feel calm and comforted by her supportive presence.
- One of our newest volunteers has four legs! Lanay, a three-year-old golden retriever, and her handler, Paula, are a therapy dog team registered with Canines for Christ. The beautiful dog has earned several titles from the American Kennel Club, including Canine Good Citizen and Community Canine. Lanay loves people and is well-suited for therapy and comfort dog work, and the team has enjoyed meeting patients throughout the Providence Hospice service area.
In addition, our volunteers are involved in supporting our bereaved. They make quarterly calls to our family members to check on how they are coping after their loss and to offer prayer and support. We also make visits to these families when it is appropriate, sometimes with our comfort dog. Knowing our team cares about these families even after the passing of the patient brings hope to these grieving families.
These are just a few examples of how volunteers make a difference in the lives of those we serve. Your individual gifts can make a tremendous impact on our patients in hospice, as well as their families. If you are interested in sharing your gifts to brighten lives, whether in our hospice program or at any of our communities, let us know at www.VolunteerAtProvidence.com.