Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton recently held its annual Volunteer Recognition Banquet, recognizing and thanking its volunteers.
“Each year, we have the privilege to honor and thank our volunteers for their service. On behalf of Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, I would like to thank all our volunteers for their service, time, talents, and dedication to our mission,” said Maureen Swarts, manager of Volunteer Services at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. “Volunteers are a vital part of what we do and who we are. We’re grateful for the difference our volunteers make in the lives of our patients and families.”
Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton offers volunteer programs to provide services and support programs that assist patients and families beyond medical care as part of the interdisciplinary care team. Volunteers play a crucial role in meeting the Medicare Hospice Benefit requirement to provide 5% of patient care. Volunteers contribute to patient care through defined roles under the supervision of a hospice staff member.
They can choose to provide direct patient care or indirect support. Direct care volunteers visit patients wherever they call home to provide companionship and respite for caregivers, transportation to appointments, run errands, and deliver supplies. Indirect care volunteers assist with general office duties, participate in fundraising and community education, and assist with building and grounds maintenance tasks.
“Our volunteers are truly the heart of hospice care,” Swarts said. “They play a vital role as members of the hospice care team, bringing a wide diversity of skills, cultural backgrounds and beliefs.”
In 2022, 650 individuals volunteered with Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton.
- They served more than 37,500 hours.
- Twenty-six animal-assisted therapy teams visited patients and their families.
- Twenty-nine community groups volunteered with Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton.
- More than 300 Veteran patients were honored with a Veteran recognition ceremony as part of the American Pride® Veteran Care by Ohio’s Hospice program.
- Volunteers provided more than 11,800 hours of direct care through visits with patients, caregiver relief, haircuts, art therapy, and life celebrations.
- More than 7,300 calls were made by volunteers to bereaved family members and friends.
More than 195 individuals attended this year’s Volunteer Recognition Banquet. Of those who attended, several were recognized for years of service milestones.
- 25 Years: Valerie Schaefer
- 15 Years: Sondra Landis and Mary Sparkman
- 10 Years: Connie Bruce, Barbara Dei Dolori, Dorothy Reid, Sue Rutherford, Rae Ann Sapp, Joan Wagner, and Sue Weddell
- 5 Years: Julie Bains, David Brundrett, Diana Gordon, Hildegard McCloud, Lois Neidig, and Jeff Shaw
- 3 Years: Saundra Collie, Raegan Faun, Mary Galloway, Bonnie Hill, Margaret Hoge, Janice James, and Eliana Ling
For the past 25 years, Schaefer has volunteered with Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, helping with volunteer training, respite care and vigil care. She also is a community ambassador.
“It is a privilege to help with the end-of-life journey and provide comfort by my presence,” Schaefer said. “It is meaningful work to help another human being with the journey that we will all experience.”
Throughout the year, Volunteer Services has received notes of gratitude from patients and families about the difference volunteers make in their lives. Here are a few excerpts from their notes:
- “Volunteers, thank you for your dedication to my family. You will forever be in my heart and prayers.”
- “To the bear crafter, thank you from the bottom of my heart. My bear has changed me for the better.”
- “To the blanket makers, thank you for the lovely handmade blanket that was given to my husband when he arrived at hospice. He was quite touched by it. He pointed it out to me as soon as I arrived at his room with a big smile on his face.”
- “Thank you for coming and visiting with Mom. She loves the company, and you are so good with her.”
- “Thank you so much for the Veteran pinning you did for our dad. The coffee, snacks, and support helped take some stress off our mother.”
For more information about volunteer opportunities at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, please call Maureen Swarts at 937.256.9507 or visit www.OhiosHospice.org/Volunteer/ to fill out a volunteer application.
Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, an affiliate of Ohio’s Hospice, is a not-for-profit hospice provider. Since 1978, it has served patients and families in the Dayton region in their homes, extended care and assisted living facilities, and the Hospice House location in Dayton. A variety of grief support services are available to the entire community through the Pathways of HopeSM Grief Counseling Center. Support and education are provided by a team of counselors and social workers, all with significant experience and expertise in assisting grieving children, adolescents and adults. Pathways of Hope was established in 2002. Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton serves more than 1,000 patients and families daily, achieving national recognition for innovative services and outstanding care.