The not-for-profits rely on volunteers every day across the state to deliver compassionate care to patients during what is arguably the toughest time of their lives. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteering sustained by shifting from in-person to virtual volunteer visits to safely continue providing socialization and companionship to patients, and relief for their caregivers. This crucial role continues to evolve as in-person volunteer opportunities reemerge in select communities.
Hospice volunteers are courageous and compassionate. Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice are proud to celebrate those who generously give their time and talents to help others. While no two volunteers have the same experience, all volunteers offer countless benefits to the patients, families and not-for-profits they serve. Some examples of this include:
- Listening to patients during virtual and in-person companionship visits
- Engaging with patients through music – both live performance and watching videos together
- Providing crucial moments of relief for caregivers and family members
- Bringing joy to patients with fun and relaxing pet visits
- Handwriting cards during the pandemic to remind patients they are not alone
- Delivering cheer to homebound patients in the form of colorful floral arrangements
- Helping with office work virtually to support the mission of Every Person, Every Time
“Volunteers make a real difference in the lives of patients and families,” said Alison Wagner, Director of Volunteer Services and Complementary Therapies for Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice. “We are truly thankful for their endless generosity, compassionate support and unyielding dedication to our mission and our communities – not only during National Volunteer Week, but every day.”
To learn more about becoming a volunteer with Hospice of Michigan, visit hom.org. To learn more about becoming a volunteer with Arbor Hospice, visit arborhospice.org. No special experience is required to volunteer. For those who have experienced a loss, the organizations encourage a waiting period of one year before becoming a hospice volunteer to allow for the processing of grief.
About NorthStar Care Community
NorthStar Care Community (NSCC) was created to preserve and promote the mission of nonprofit hospice and palliative care – to deliver expert, compassionate care to patients of any age, no matter their diagnoses, complexity of care, place of residence or ability to pay. NorthStar Care Community was formed in 2017 by two legacy nonprofit hospice agencies – Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice – and also includes NorthStar Palliative Care, the NorthStar Institute and Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children. As members of the NSCC family, the organizations combine operational resources in order to maximize support at each patient’s bedside, delivering the highest standards of care to those who are seriously ill. In total, NorthStar Care Community members serve nearly 6,500 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information about NorthStar Care Community, visit www.northstarcarecommunity.org.
Arbor Hospice, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, provides quality, compassionate care for those experiencing life-limiting illnesses throughout Washtenaw County and surrounding communities. A founding member of the NorthStar Care Community, Arbor offers certified community-based and inpatient hospice services and palliative care through NorthStar Palliative Care, as well as grief support services and community education programs. Through other NorthStar Care Community members, Arbor also provides pediatric hospice care and compassionate support services through Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through the NorthStar Institute. The NorthStar Care Community also includes Hospice of Michigan. In total, NorthStar Care Community members serve nearly 5,100 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information, visit www.arborhospice.org or call 888-992-2273.