By LESLIE EIKLEBERRY
ABILENE -- Dickinson County residents: If you want to make a difference in the final days of peoples' lives, Hospice of Dickinson County needs you.
The organization seeks volunteers to assist with a variety of tasks and has scheduled new hospice volunteer training for persons interested in volunteering.
The training is set for 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Friday and March 12 at Home Health and Hospice, 1111 North Brady Street in Abilene. The training is for individuals who would like to help support hospice patients and their families, and will include how the program works and how volunteers are an important part of the hospice program, according to information from the organization.
"Hospice volunteers are caring, compassionate individuals who want to make a difference in the final days of someone’s life," Adrianne Russell-Pestinger, hospice volunteer coordinator, told Salina Post. "It is important to note that this doesn’t always mean direct patient care. It takes every single person who is a part of our organization to help provide the quality care that our patients deserve, and there are many different volunteer opportunities."
Russell-Pestinger explained that most of the volunteers fall into one of two main groups: direct care and indirect care.
"Direct patient-care volunteers provide companionship and support directly to hospice patients and their families, in their homes, nursing homes, and in facilities," she noted.
Services provided by direct-care volunteers vary depending on the needs of the patients and their loved ones. According to Russell-Pestinger, those services can include the following.
●Companionship in the form of conversation, listening, sitting quietly with the patient, reading, written correspondence, and general socialization.
●Caregiver respite – staying with the patient while the caregiver gets away for a short period of time. This gives the caregiver the opportunity to run errands, grab groceries, go for a walk, or even take a nap.
●Helping with household chores
●Light meal prep
●Providing transportation to and from appointments
Russell-Pestinger explained that indirect care includes administrative support, such as:
●Help with mailings and newsletters
In addition to direct and indirect care services, volunteers can sign up to help with the following, Russell-Pestinger noted.
●Working at fair booths
Russell-Pestinger explained that time commitments are dependent upon the volunteer’s availability and the patient/family, administrative, or event needs. As an example, she noted that direct patient care volunteers donate one-four hours per week on average, but that can vary depending on the individual needs of the patient/family.
"Volunteers are an essential part of the hospice team and provide invaluable service by helping to provide patients and families with compassionate care and support during the end-of-life process," Russell-Pestinger replied.
To register or request more information, contact Russell-Pestinger at (785) 263-6630 or send a message through the organization's Facebook page: Home Health and Hospice of Dickinson County.