Since volunteers can play a crucial role in supporting families caring for hospice patients, a local faith-based agency has scheduled training sessions for those willing to help.
Golden Belt Home Health & Hospice (GBHH&H) has scheduled volunteer training for 6:30 to 9 p.m. on two consecutive Tuesdays – Nov. 19 and 26. Each session will be held at 3520 Lakin Ave., which is the home of the GBHH&H office. Participants are asked to use the Lincoln Street entrance.
“Those who attend the training are under no obligation to become a volunteer,” said Donita Wolf, R.N., GBHH&H director. “The training sessions can help them decide if this is a good way for them to support families who are going through a difficult time and need a little extra help.”
Volunteers can choose from a range of activities, including companionship, supportive listening and conversation, reading, reminiscing, assistance with documenting the patient’s life story, letter writing, running errands, caregiver respite, sharing prayers, and offering support during quiet reflection.
Training topics focus on the dying process and grief, as well as the role of the hospice team that includes the medical director, personal physician, a registered nurse, social worker, chaplain, home-health aide and the volunteer.
“We want volunteers to find their own comfort levels,” Wolf said. “A volunteer activity is based on what a patient and family need and what the volunteer is comfortable with.
“Many of our volunteers discover that hospice service is personally rewarding,” Wolf added. “It is a wonderful way to share time and a compassionate spirit with families who are coping with a difficult time of life.”
Wolf also noted that sometimes volunteers have experienced losses and determine that hospice service is their way of giving back to others and to the community.
“This volunteer activity can be part of the personal healing process if they have had an appropriate amount of time to grieve,” Wolf explained. “We can work with prospective volunteers about when is the right time to serve.”
In addition to Wolf, training-session presenters are John Grummon and Angela DeVore, both hospice chaplains; and Cathy Soeken, hospice social worker.
Anyone interested in learning more about hospice or enrolling in the sessions is encouraged to call GBHH&H, 620-792-8171.
GBHH&H, which is part of the St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center family, has been serving the community since 1979. Its territory includes Barton, Pawnee, Rush and part of Stafford counties.
St. Rose is part of the Centura Health family, which connects individuals and families across western Kansas and Colorado with more than 6,000 physicians, 15 hospitals, seven senior-living communities, physician practices and clinics, home care and hospice services.