Shared from Vidant Home Health and Hospice News letter —
THE LINKS January 2018
DEAR HOSPICE VOLUNTEERS …
I trust that you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. I wish to take a moment to sincerely thank you for all your services provided for our hospice patients and their families. I am reminded daily of so many great volunteers who share their precious time and talents. Over the past two weeks, I have had many such moments and I wanted to share some of them with you.
Nearly every day that I go to the inpatient hospice house to see patients, I am warmly greeted by people who attend the front entrance. I know that the families and friends who come to visit our patients are greeted just as kindly and lovingly. When I talk with the visitors there, they frequently mention how wonderful it is to have volunteers greet them at the entrance and show them where to go. I hear comments like “I want to do that sometime in the future” from the people who have been helped. Our volunteers clearly leave a strong positive impression on the people who enter the building and provide a welcoming atmosphere.
So many people express gratitude for the food brought in to the hospice house by our volunteers. Having delicious and nutritious food in the building allows for families to be able to focus spending time with their loved ones and not worry about where and what to eat. People who eat this food constantly think about the kind hands that brought them. People thank me and the staff at the hospice house for the food, but we have to explain to them where the food came from, then they are amazed.
People are often astonished that our beautiful prayer shawls are hand-woven by volunteers. Patients cling to them in comfort and feel the gentle hands that made them. I see the peace that these shawls bring to families in stressful times. Personal items that mean so much are often clipped to the prayer shawls. The families will have them at home to remember patients by because of the comforting power of the shawls.
Lastly, during our regular meetings to discuss our home patients, the entire hospice team frequently discusses how certain patients and families have benefitted or will benefit greatly from having a volunteer spend time with them. It is so helpful to have people who can connect with patients and spend time with them to bring them joy. Our patients express how they look forward to having volunteers come to their homes.
These are just some of the examples in the past few weeks that demonstrate how valuable our volunteer services are. Of course, there are lots more that the volunteers do than what I mentioned above, and each person’s contribution is unique and awesome. Thank you so much for being a big part of our hospice team to provide care that is loving, kind, and gentle.
With gratitude, Tae Joon Lee, MD
“When someone is going through a storm, your silent presence is more powerful than a million empty words.” ~~ Thema Davis