It has been almost two years since Community Hospice & Palliative Care volunteers were able to visit patients in person, and this past month they were given the green light to begin doing so again in-home and inpatient settings. This announcement was welcomed as many patients enjoy receiving visits from volunteers. To ensure safety for a healthy visit with patients, the Community Hospice & Palliative Care volunteers were educated on proper safety protocols.
“One word comes to mind when Roxie and I visit patients: Community. Each one of these people has helped build communities with their families, friends, colleagues, and now within Hospice itself,” said Steve Piscitelli, a pet therapy volunteer with Community Hospice & Palliative Care. “I can see it on their faces when they smile and share a little piece of their journey with us. Roxie can sense it when they touch her head. We feel it in the eyes and even the tears of the visitors in their rooms. When we hear, ‘Thank you for coming today. It is what we needed,’ both Roxie and I feel we have helped contribute to the community bond.”’
During the two years that volunteers were unable to visit patients, they contributed by sewing personal protective equipment (PPE) items, creating homemade cards to keep spirits up, painting artwork and sharing their musical talents through video to help put smiles on the faces of families and patients.
“Our volunteers are eager to share their time with our patients. It is truly a pleasure to reconnect the volunteers with families in need,” said Dan Batty, volunteer services manager. “Our care teams are once again supported by loving members of this community who thoroughly enjoy helping others. We have embraced the ‘new normal’ lifestyle and have properly adjusted to operating within the centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) and Occupation and Heath Administration’s (OSHA) best practices. The support we have been able to provide in the home and inpatient setting has been a great reminder of how amazing life can be.”
If you are interested in joining the volunteer program at Community Hospice & Palliative care, you can apply online at www.volunteer.communityhospice.com or call Tony Ross, volunteer engagement coordinator, at 904-610-7468.
About Community Hospice & Palliative Care
Established in 1979, Community Hospice & Palliative Care is an innovative national leader in palliative and hospice care, as well as providing programs and services to meet the diverse needs of the communities it serves. During its 42-year history, through the support of more than 1,000 employees and 1,000 volunteers, the organization helps approximately 1,600 patients per day to live better with advanced illness – at home, in long-term care and assisted living facilities, in hospitals and at its 10 inpatient care centers. No one is ever denied care due to an inability to pay. To learn more about the support and services of Community Hospice & Palliative Care, visit CommunityHospice.com.
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