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Volunteers Change Lives

Join Susquehanna Health and reach our community with compassion

 

by Susquehanna Health - February 18, 2016

Are you looking for a way to channel your compassion to make a difference in your community? Becoming a Susquehanna Health (SH) Hospice volunteer might be right for you. Volunteers do not need a medical background—only a kind heart, willingness to help, listening ear, and caring presence. There are many ways to help.

Susquehanna Health Hospice is currently recruiting hospice volunteers for Tioga County. Through their visits, volunteers provide emotional and moral support to patients and their families, in addition to respite for caregivers. “Our volunteers provide company and conversation, offer support to grieving families and help around the home,” explains Bob Coppadge, SH Hospice Volunteer Liaison. “Hospice volunteering is more of a calling,” says Bob. “It requires a big heart and a desire to really be there for those going through this season of life.”

Opportunities include reading and writing letters, playing music, light housekeeping, meal preparation, as well as help with activities or hobbies, providing respite for the caregivers and clerical support in the hospice office. Hospice volunteers allow patient families to step out for a quick trip to the grocery store or a doctor’s appointment, knowing their loved one is being cared for in their absence. Currently, efforts are being made to expand volunteer services to provide a Last Moments vigil in addition to honoring veterans. Services can be provided in the patient’s home, a nursing facility, or personal care home.

Hospice focuses on providing comfort and support during a difficult time of transition, generally during the last six months of life. Hospice also adapts with a person’s evolving needs and desires, including exiting the program if health improves or a patient chooses to return to treatment-focused care. Although hospice deals with end-of-life issues, it is focused on quality of life and enjoying that time with loved ones.

Both volunteers featured in the interview began volunteering after personal experience with hospice care touching lives in their families. Judith Giddings has served as a volunteer for the last 8 years, providing comfort and entertainment through her love of music. She plays a mountain dulcimer and performs music from a variety of music genres. Ray Miller, a painter by vocation, joined the program to better give back to a community he loves.

Hospice volunteering is open to people 18 and older; interested parties fill out an application and discuss it with the hospice volunteer liaison. If the individual is determined to be a good fit for hospice volunteering, the volunteer then completes a free training program to learn how to meet the essential, non-medical needs of terminally ill patients and their families in their homes, assisted living, and local long-term care facilities.

For more information or to request an application, contact Bob Coppadge at (570) 723-0760 or rbcoppadge@susquehannahealth.org.

Credits:

Writing: N/A

 

Produced by Vogt Media

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