Anyone who sacrifices their time to support an organization or cause should be commended. Volunteers are so selfless! But being a hospice volunteer? That takes volunteering and compassion to a whole new level.
To be a hospice volunteer means visiting hospice patients who are going through the end of life phase. Patients are not all the same and needs to be addressed uniquely –some are warm, happy, and very welcoming to visits, while some cannot offer more than silence and stares. Our volunteers, however, continue to go and stay true to the team’s mission of focusing on living and not dying, despite the challenges that come with it. They also know that often times, the families of our patients may need their support as much or even more than the patient themselves.
Through time, our volunteers have shared different stories as they spent countless hours visiting patients. We have volunteers who travel and drive for almost an hour just to visit their patient. Other times, patients were asleep or non-verbal and just held their hands. Some volunteers felt unwelcome as they were rejected on their first few visits but still, they came back with renewed hope for a better interaction every time. There were happy days too, their “accomplished” moments! Instances such as their patient telling them “I love you”, or the simple act of their patient remembering their name, squeezing their hand, or giving them a big smile! It’s often the simple things. At the end of the day, volunteers often share that they are the ones who are touched more than them doing anything special for our dear hospice friends.
Our hospice volunteers developed the patience, compassion, and the heart to dedicatedly visit patients and help deliver the best quality of life for them in their remaining days. They continually create beautiful bonds with them each chance they get. Some even visit during holidays like Christmas and Valentines! They have also learned the power of touch and smiles when words are no longer an option. We are very happy and proud to think that at times, our hospice volunteers grew angel wings as they intertwined their paths with those of the patients they visit!
Transitions Hospice proudly joins organizations nationwide as we celebrate National Volunteers Week this week, April 23 to 29! We sincerely recognize the selfless efforts each of our volunteers contribute. Our volunteers help us achieve our mission as the time and love they share add to the quality of life of the patients they visit. Volunteers play a vital part in our team and for that, we are eternally grateful!