Since volunteers can play a crucial role in supporting families caring for hospice patients, a local non-profit 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 8:30 p.m. on two consecutive Mondays – April 11 and 18. Each session will be held at 3520 Lakin, Suite 103. Participants are asked to use the Lincoln Street entrance.
“Those who attend the two training sessions are encouraged to volunteer but are under no obligation to do so,” said Donita Wolf, R.N., GBHH&H manager. “The classes 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;assistance with Memories Matter Bereavement Camp;running errands;caregiver respite;office support;light housekeeping; andsupport 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 commented. “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 to decide when is the right time to serve.”
In addition to Wolf, training-session presenters are Larry Schumacher, hospice chaplain; 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 Health Center family, has been serving the community since 1979. Its territory includes Barton, Pawnee, Rush and part of Stafford counties.
St. Rose specializes in primary care, prevention and wellness. Services include St. Rose Family Medicine, Convenient Care Walk-in Clinic, Great Bend Internists, imaging, Cardiac Rehab, Special Nursing Services, one-day surgical procedures, Golden Belt Home Health & Hospice and a comprehensive Specialty Clinic. St. Rose is co-owned by Hays Medical Center and Centura Health.