Volunteers Give the Gift of Presence

By Andrea Arnett, Community Hospice Director of Volunteers

Volunteers Give the Gift of PresenceCommunity Hospice is an organization dedicated to the care of people of all ages who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Our care is designed to alleviate pain and control the symptoms of disease with skill and compassion for our patients.  It is our belief that people do not need hospice to die, but rather to complete their life.

An integral part of hospice care is the utilization of a specially trained team of volunteers who offer the gift of presence to our patients and caregivers.  They are the heart of Community Hospice and we could not provide quality, well rounded care without them.

Our Community Hospice volunteers serve in different capacities depending on their interests.  They may offer patient companionship in the home, at a nursing home facility or at our in-patient Care Center.  They can provide caregiver respite and sit with the patient, allowing the caregiver to get away for a few hours to run errands or go to an appointment.  They can also serve in patient support roles like answering the phones or offering snacks and coffee to families at our Care Center.   Our volunteers do more than that though.  They hold a hand, say a prayer, sing a song or offer a smile when needed.  These are the intangible things our volunteers do for our families.  They are comforting and they are priceless.  They often come at times when there are no words to be said.  When their presence is the only thing they can offer but it’s the only thing our patients need.

“Volunteers comfort with their presence.  One does not need to know all the right words to say but the ability to just be present.”  -Gina Davis

There is a constant need for volunteers.  Our volunteers determine when and how often they are available to assist – some a few hours a week, others just a few hours a month.  They give as little or as much of their time as they are able and our patients and families truly appreciate each hour volunteered.

We are currently looking to fill volunteer roles at our in-patient Care Center, answering phones and working with our hospitality cart.  We are also looking for volunteers to visit nursing home facilities in all of the nine counties Community Hospice serves (Boyd, Greenup, Carter, Elliott, Lawrence, Martin, and Johnson, counties in Kentucky and Lawrence and Scioto counties in Ohio).  We are looking for volunteers to do clerical work at our main office (filing, shredding, scanning) and we are looking for volunteers willing to sit with patients in their homes to provide caregiver respite.  Teen volunteers are also welcomed.  They may begin volunteering at age 13, but those interested in visiting patients must be at least 16 years of age and must volunteer in pairs or with a parent until they turn 18.

Come join our team of volunteers at Community Hospice!
We will be hosting a new volunteer orientation on March 14-15, 2018 from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm each day at our Ashland Office, 1480 Carter Avenue.   If interested in learning more or to inquire about becoming a trained volunteer, please contact Andrea Arnett, Director of Volunteers at 606-329-1890, 800-926-6184 or via email at aarnett@chospice.org. 

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