Gaylord, Michigan, November 17, 2014 – Arbor Hospice, the largest non-profit hospice and palliative care organization in Michigan, is seeking volunteers in Northern Michigan to help support patient care, office administration and a variety other programs.
Volunteers are an integral, yet often invisible about part of a hospice team. Caregiving for a terminally ill loved one can be exhausting for family and friends, and a volunteer can provide opportunities to get away for a needed break.
“If you have a few hours to spare every week, you can make a real difference in someone’s life,” said Kathy Lietaert, volunteer program manager for Arbor Hospice. “Making a cup of tea or reading the newspaper to someone struggling with illness not only adds normalcy to their day, it gives caregivers much-needed relief and the personal time they need.”
Lietaert explains that the opportunities for an HOM volunteer are virtually limitless. Some of the ongoing volunteer needs include:
- Companionship visits and caregiver relief
- Bedside vigils to ensure that patients in their final hours will not die alone
- Care by professional massage therapists, hair stylists and manicurists
- Specialty programs, such as pet, music and aroma therapy
- Seamstresses, crafters and scrappers who can assist in making memory bears from the clothing of a lost loved one, creating birthday or other special occasion cards or leading other hands-on projects
- Veterans who can reach out to their fellow servicemen and women through the We Honor Veterans program, which is designed to address the unique needs of military personnel at the end of life
- Baking and delivering cakes and cookies to celebrate special occasions
- MyStories Program™ where volunteers record special stories told by the patient
Prospective volunteers will be asked to go through a training course where they learn more about HOM, the principles of hospice, the grieving process and how to help patients, families and staff.
“The best volunteers have a passion for helping others,” Lietaert explained. “They are dedicated, compassionate, non-judgmental and flexible. They may or may not have a specific skill to share, but they have the time and the willingness to make a difference in the life of a patient and family.
“At some point or other, everyone who volunteers will ultimately get something out of the experience.
If you would like to learn more about volunteer opportunities for Arbor Hospice or sign up as a volunteer, visit https://www.hom.org/?page_id=1239. You can also contact Lietaert (231.929.1886, firstname.lastname@example.org) or Amanda Fleming (989.705.2604, email@example.com) for additional information.
For those who have experienced a loss, HOM encourages a waiting period of one year before becoming a volunteer in order to allow for the processing of grief.
About Arbor Hospice
A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Arbor Hospice is the original – and largest – hospice in the state. The non-profit cares for more than 1,700 patients each day, raising more than $4 million each year to cover the cost of care for the uninsured and underinsured. HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life, including At Home Support™, our advanced illness management program, community- based palliative care and pediatric care programs. HOM provides grief support and counseling, caregiver education and support, and education programs for physicians and healthcare professionals through its research, training and education arm, the Arbor Hospice Institute. For more information, call 888.247.5701 or visit www.hom.org.