Local hospice seeks more volunteers to care and visit
In her seminal 1969 book, “On Death and Dying,” Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross identified the five stages through which most terminally ill patients progress. The book became a best seller and an impetus to the US hospice movement. In 1972, testifying in front of the U.S. Senate Special Hearing on Aging, Kubler-Ross said, “We live in a very particular death-denying society. We isolate both the dying and the old, and it serves a purpose. They are reminders of our own mortality. We should not institutionalize people. We can give families more help with home care and visiting nurses, giving the families and the patients the spiritual, emotional, and financial help in order to facilitate the final care at home.”
The word “hospice” is traced back to medieval times, when it referred to a place of shelter and rest for weary or ill travelers on a long journey. Anyone who has ever dealt with a loved one placed in hospice care knows what a caring environment hospice can provide. But most hospices rely on volunteers, including one local hospice, which is currently seeking more help.
“The word ‘Caris’ comes from an ancient Greek word meaning ‘grace’,” says Jenny Mills, Caris Healthcare volunteer coordinator. “The last days of life are a sacred time and we feel strongly that hospice care with grace should be provided. Caris is founded on the values of compassion, accountability, respect, integrity and service. By staying grounded in these values, we can provide exceptional end-of-life care.”
Mills notes that Caris Healthcare is extremely grateful for the volunteers that make exceptional end-of-life care possible. “Caris volunteers make a difference in the lives of patients and families. They are amazing individuals who offer gifts of caring, compassion and grace to people facing a life-limiting illness,” Mills says. Volunteers are a vital part of the hospice team, giving time, talents and their hands to those who need it most.
“There are several ways that a volunteer can make a difference in our patients and families lives, “ Mills explains. “Special project volunteering offers a way to utilize your creativity and love of crafting by completing a variety of projects. No act of kindness is too big or too small. Examples include donating crocheted or knitted blankets, helping to create precious memory books for loved ones, or filling out seasonal cards. Administrative volunteers donate their time in our Caris office by helping with tasks such as filing, making and answering phone calls, or assisting the volunteer coordinator.” This is a perfect opportunity, she points out, for someone who is looking to increase their resume and looks great on transcripts for college applications.
“Unfortunately, some of our patients do not have the reassurance and comfort of someone to hold their hand,” Mills says. “Many would love nothing more than to have someone visit with them and read the Bible, or simply to just reminisce about the past. Please consider becoming a Caris volunteer and gain the greatest reward by giving to others in need.”
For more information about volunteering, contact Mills at (423) 899-4044 or firstname.lastname@example.org