Posted: January 8, 2014
Arbor Hospice is hosting a new round of training for volunteers who are interested in bringing comfort and companionship to patients facing life-limiting illnesses, and their families. Volunteers choose locations they are most comfortable visiting within Arbor Hospice’s seven county service area – often times its locations close to their own home or work. The four training sessions will be held at Arbor Hospice’s Ann Arbor office – 2366 Oak Valley Drive, Ann Arbor, Mich.
The comprehensive training sessions are set for every Monday and Wednesday from Jan. 27 through Feb. 5. All classes run 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A variety of volunteer opportunities are available, including patient companionship, caregiver relief, facilitating pet therapy patient interaction, music visits or administrative support.
Volunteers play a key role in Arbor Hospice’s mission to provide the highest quality of comfort and support in patients’ homes, assisted living facilities and nursing homes within the community, as well as The Residence of Arbor Hospice. Helga Safranek, the wife of Arbor Hospice patient, Frank Safranek raves about the volunteers who visited her husband.
Over the course of eight months, when Frank was an Arbor Hospice patient, three different volunteers made visits to the Safranek home. They each provided companionship and a listening ear by engaging in activities Frank enjoyed.
“One of the volunteers was a carpenter, and helped Frank varnish one of his unfinished projects,” said Helga Safranek. “I can’t begin to explain how much that meant to us. To have someone spend time with Frank and help him do something he loved, was so wonderful. After months of being unable to use his artistic skills and work in his workshop, Frank had that opportunity.”
The other volunteer was not a carpenter, but came prepared nonetheless. With an Ipad in hand, the volunteer visited Frank on a weekly basis prepared to research the artists Frank talked about.
Arbor Hospice volunteers are unique and compassionate individuals willing to help someone in a time of need. In keeping with health care industry guidelines, Arbor Hospice provides a thorough training to ensure volunteers are fully prepared to assist patients, as well as provide a brief respite to caregivers. Make-up sessions are available for prospective volunteers who cannot make every date during the training series.
“Arbor Hospice relies on the support of caring and compassionate individuals to help ensure our patients and their families receive the utmost level of care,” said Gloria D. Brooks, President and CEO of Arbor Hospice. “Arbor Hospice volunteers are an essential part of our team.”
Over the course of the training sessions, volunteers will learn the differences between hospice and palliative care and how to interact with Arbor Hospice patients and families. This will include communication techniques, active listening, overcoming cultural differences, and gaining an understanding on how spirituality and grief affect patients and families. Reporting and documentation requirements, as well as varying guidelines for visiting patients in long term care facilities and in their homes are also explained.
About Arbor Hospice, the Arbor Hospice Foundation and Arbor Palliative Care
This year marks the 30th year
Arbor Hospice has helped families focus on what matters most by addressing the fears and symptoms most commonly associated with end of life. Since 1984, Arbor Hospice has been committed to providing quality, compassionate care to those experiencing life-limiting illnesses throughout southeast Michigan. As a patient and family support service, Arbor Hospice’s 200 end-of-life specialists and more than 300 volunteers keep the patient comfortable, teach the family to provide care and offer emotional and spiritual support. For more information, visit www.arborhospice.org or call (888) 992-2273.
Serving a seven county service area, and offices in Ann Arbor, Monroe, Plymouth and Woodhaven, Arbor Hospice serves patients and families in conjunction with:
- The Arbor Hospice Foundation, which provides financial and philanthropic support to advance the mission of Arbor Hospice. Founded in 2002, the Arbor Hospice Foundation funds pediatric hospice care, grief support services, uncompensated care and complementary therapies, including music, massage and pet therapy. To make a tax-deductible contribution or for more information visit https://www.arborhospice.org/foundation-donation/donate-today or call (734) 794-5338.
- Arbor Palliative Care, a consultative service of Arbor Hospice founded in 2012. Arbor Palliative Care provides comfort care to people who are not hospice eligible or who choose not to enroll in hospice. Physicians and nurse practitioners, who specialize in pain and symptom management, work with patients’ physicians to assess and address symptoms associated with advanced illness. For more information, call (734) 794-5678 or toll free (855) 249-5678.
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