Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hospice Volunteer Vigil (Video Interview 3:46)

Hospice volunteers are being recruited daily and offering their services. People follow that path for different reasons. For many, it is a unique opportunity to serve patients at critical times in their lives. Hospice volunteering has everything to do with using good common sense and applying knowledge gained through ongoing training. 
When it comes to patients, service is about volunteers being there with them and improving their quality of life. Patients sense and appreciate their presence.

What a particular volunteer provides is important for a patient who doesn’t want to die alone. That is the reason many hospice programs are providing specialized volunteer vigil training. During vigil training, a volunteer is taught how to provide bedside support during the final days and hours of a patient’s life. Assistance for families is included. At some facilities, staff members also volunteer for vigil assignments. Vigils, which are based on a patient’s wishes, can include talking, praying, inspirational reading, playing music, performing rituals, touching and, of course, sharing silence. Reflecting the hospice philosophy, a volunteer vigil helps provide the patient with a more peaceful end-of-life experience.

In this video, Kaitlyn Maire of Central Okanagan Hospice House shares her vigil experience. She says, “I just wanted to be there for somebody to know that person didn’t have to be alone.”

Many healthcare staff members who work with dying patients will tell you they have had patients share stories about seeing dead people, ghosts, spirits they recognize, and angels. View this post for my personal story and an informative video:

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.

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