Pam Koons started volunteering with Ohio’s Hospice Loving Care four years ago as a visitor to patients and an office helper. She enjoys volunteering and describes it as the most rewarding thing she has ever done in her life.
But this year, Koons experienced Ohio’s Hospice’s care as a loved one while her friend received care at the Ohio’s Hospice of Central Ohio inpatient care center at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. Both Ohio’s Hospice Loving Care and Ohio’s Hospice of Central Ohio are affiliates of Ohio’s Hospice, a partnership of mission-driven, not-for-profit hospices in Ohio committed to a shared vision of strengthening and preserving community-based hospices.
“When I first walked into the Wexner Medical Center inpatient unit, you could feel the love and concern for the patients and families that every nurse and doctor has,” Koons said. “Anyone that came in was so caring, and you knew they cared about the patient being comfortable and ensuring the family knew what was going on.”
While a loved one receiving hospice care can be a difficult situation filled with many emotions, Koons found the inpatient care center to be a comforting environment for the patients and their families. She observed how the care teams took time to care for families and loved ones alongside the patients.
“It made me feel good that the peaceful, kind care does not just come from us volunteers. It comes from everyone in the unit,” Koons said. “Everyone at Ohio’s Hospice is interacting with patients and families the same way. Nurses would visit and just hold my friend‘s hand and talk to her gently, like we would as volunteers doing a vigil.”
She added that her friend and the friend’s family appreciated the inpatient care center allowing her friend’s dog to be with her at her bedside, which was a comfort to her.
During her friend’s time at the inpatient care center, Tanner Fixari, chaplain with Ohio’s Hospice of Central Ohio, visited with the family and patient. Koons said Fixari provided a soothing presence. “I was able to talk to him and let him know that I volunteered for Ohio’s Hospice Loving Care,” she said. “He thanked me for doing what I do as a volunteer. But he also expressed his appreciation for all of the volunteers. He described how he has seen how the patients enjoy visits from volunteers.”
She also was touched by Fixari’s prayer for her friend and her friend’s family.
“My friend and her family appreciated the peaceful environment at the inpatient care center,” Koons said. “When my friend passed, we knew she went with love and care around her.”
The care team at Ohio’s Hospice was honored and privileged to care for Koons’ friend and her family.
- To learn more about hospice care, visit: www.OhiosHospice.org
- To learn more about volunteering, visit: www.OhiosHospice.org/Volunteer
Ohio’s Hospice is a partnership of mission-driven, not-for-profit hospices in Ohio committed to a shared vision of strengthening and preserving community-based hospices. Members of Ohio’s Hospice share the values of serving each patient in an atmosphere of hospitality, respect and caring; attending to the social, physical and spiritual needs of each person we are privileged to serve; preserving and enhancing patient dignity; celebrating the life of each individual we serve; and reducing unnecessary suffering in the communities we serve.
Affiliates of Ohio’s Hospice include: Community Care Hospice, Ohio’s Community Mercy Hospice, Ohio’s Hospice at United Church Homes, Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, Ohio’s Hospice Loving Care, Ohio’s Hospice of Butler & Warren Counties, Ohio’s Hospice of Central Ohio, Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, Ohio’s Hospice of Fayette County, Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County, and Ohio’s Hospice of Morrow County.