A Good Day
It’s morning! I’m glad to have made it through another night, and the sun’s rays peeking through the curtains gives me hope that today is going to be a good day. I wonder what’s going to happen today… maybe the cooks will make my favorite breakfast…pancakes! I especially like it when Veronica brings my tray in last because then she will sit and chat for a while. All the nurses and staff are very nice, but they are so busy! They really don’t have much time to visit. I don’t have many visitors- I am the only one of my siblings still living and my only daughter lives in California. I wish some of my buddies from my old neighborhood would come and visit – I think some of them are afraid of saying the wrong thing now that I am on hospice! I wish they would understand that I know I’m dying, but I am also still living and don’t have a need to talk all the time about what lies ahead. I want to hear about what’s going on in the world around me – what’s the latest gossip in the neighborhood?
What’s today? Oh, it’s Tuesday! I love Tuesdays – that’s the day my hospice volunteer Jean comes to visit! Jean is so funny – she’s always got a story to tell about her grandchildren. We also have a lot in common – we both love to cook- well I don’t cook anymore, but I love to hear about what Jean has been cooking. She always makes the most creative dishes and sometimes she brings me samples! Sometimes we will play card games – she’s quite the Black Jack shark! Other times, we just enjoy sitting watching the Food Network or game shows together. She treats me like I’m normal and like I still belong. On days when I’m in pain or feeling down, Jean understands—she holds my hand or moistens my face with a cool wash cloth – just her presence makes me know that everything is going to be ok.
It’s Tuesday…today is
going to be a
Someone we know enters hospice care…our first reaction is “Oh, how very sad!” No doubt, the diagnosis of a terminal illness is very sad as it means that there is limited time to share a relationship with loved-ones and friends. However, the choice of hospice care does not mean one has chosen death as an alternative to life. In fact, the opposite is true: choosing hospice is choosing to live to the fullest extent physically and emotionally possible, free of pain.
Hospice focuses on providing comfortable, dignified and compassionate care to patients as well as their families through an interdisciplinary team of medical professionals, chaplains, social workers and volunteers. Volunteers are a vital part of the hospice team. They are the only team members without set agendas when visiting patients. Nurses, physicians, nurse aides, social workers and chaplains all have specific tasks to accomplish during a visit. Volunteers, on the other hand, are there to simply be present for the individual – whatever that may mean – reading a book, assembling a puzzle, taking a walk, watching television, or simply holding hands.
Rarely do we have the opportunity to positively impact the lives of people in as profound a way as being that person who brings joy and peace into the lives of hospice patients. Volunteers also provide incredible support to families caring for the patient at home. If it were not for caring volunteers coming to sit with the husband, wife, father or mother, the caregiver may have no opportunity to leave the house for medical appointments, grocery shopping or an occasional lunch with friends.
Freedom Hospice, a locally-owned hospice organization, is looking for kind, caring and compassionate individuals to be the “Jean” in our patients’ lives. We are seeking people who share our “No Regrets” philosophy of care: doing whatever it takes to ensure that at the end of the day, there are no regrets about what we could have done better to provide a dignified, comfortable and peaceful end-of-life experience for those in our care.
In addition to volunteers working directly with patients and families, we also have opportunities for assisting with administrative tasks and special projects in our North Richland Hills office.
Volunteers receive extensive training so that before they start, they feel comfortable and prepared. The training is provided through an Internet-based program, allowing trainees to complete it at their own pace and around their schedules, in the comfort of their home or office. Once training is completed, assignments are made based upon the volunteer’s schedule, geographic preferences and skills/talents.
Will you make it a
for hospice patients and families? If so, please contact Jon Glover, Manager of Benevolent Services, at Freedom Hospice at 817-265-0151 or
for more information and to request an application.