The philosophy of hospice is a simple one based upon comfort and care. Rather than curing a disease at all costs, the hospice team seeks to make a patient as comfortable as possible by relieving the pain associated with life-limiting illness. The hospice team typically consists of personal care physicians, registered nurses, home health aides, social workers, chaplains, speech and physical therapists, and trained volunteers, all of whom play integral roles in helping make the patient's life more enjoyable. Treating the patient in the comfort of their residence is also a defining characteristic of hospice treatment.
A trained volunteer pays visit to their patient on a regular basis. These visits can include simple activities such as reading, walking, and talking. Often times, a patient experiencing an end of life illness only needs someone to sit with them perhaps even in silence. At times just the warm feeling of someone's presence, of someone who cares, can make all the difference in a patient's life.
Volunteers often describe their experience visiting Hospice patient's as life altering. Serving as a companion to someone who suffers from terminal illness can not only help the patient's comfort, but it can also frame a volunteer's life in a new, more humbling perspective. Do not simply take my word for it. Check out a first hand testimonial from Johanna, one our long time volunteers:
|Johanna visiting a patient.|