Posted: April 1, 2013
In honor of National Volunteer Month, Arbor Hospice, headquartered in Ann Arbor, salutes its more than 300 volunteers who donated 19,911 hours and traveled thousands of miles this past year to bring comfort and care to its patients and their families. The annual April observance not only provides an opportunity for organizations to thank their Good Samaritans, but for people to consider how they can give their time and talents to create a better community.
Arbor Hospice volunteers support all aspects of the organization and play an invaluable role in helping the organization give comfort, assurance and care to families and patients who have life-limiting illnesses. Extensive training is provided, covering such topics as the differences between hospice and palliative care, communication, active listening, cultural differences, spirituality and grief. Arbor Hospice also recruits volunteers for administrative support with special events, fundraising, mailings, filing and general office needs.
Arbor Hospice attracts a wide range of volunteers, many of whom offer their special skills and talents to bring comfort and companionship to hospice patients and their families.
One of Arbor Hospice’s younger volunteers, Susan Doong, is an eleventh-grade student at Northville High School. Susan uses her talents as a pianist to bring cheer to Arbor Hospice patients residing in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
“Many of the residents tap their feet with the tunes,” Susan said. “It’s nice to see them engaged in the music and excited when they hear something familiar.”
Diane Imredy has been volunteering with Arbor Hospice since 1990. For the first 15 years, she spent most of her time offering relief for caregivers and companionship to patients, including helping one patient complete a personal bucket list.
“I’ll never forget how excited she would get when I would call her and tell her that I was coming over,” Diane said. “She really wanted to get through her list, and I was so glad that I could be her companion and help her do that.”
In the past seven years, Diane has worked on the administrative side of Arbor Hospice, helping in the office and acting as a volunteer coordinator.
Another volunteer, Dennis Sparks uses his talent as a videographer to provide gifts for the families of Arbor Hospice patients. He creates videos of special moments and messages from patients to give their families a permanent reminder of those special memories.
Volunteers play a key role in Arbor Hospice’s mission to provide the highest quality of comfort and support in patients’ homes within the community, as well as at The Residence of Arbor Hospice.
Those interested exploring rewarding volunteer opportunities with Arbor Hospice can contact:
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