During National Volunteer Month, Ohio’s Hospice and its affiliates are recognizing the impact volunteers have on the patients and families served throughout Ohio. Their support of our mission makes a difference in the lives of our patients and families.
“Our energetic, patient-focused volunteers are truly the heart of hospice care,” said Amy LeVan, director of Volunteer Services for Ohio’s Hospice. “They support our mission to celebrate the lives of those we have the privilege of serving by providing superior care and superior services to each patient and family”.
As a not-for-profit hospice, Ohio’s Hospice offers volunteer programs to provide services and support programs that assist patients and families beyond medical care. Hospice volunteers care about the quality of life for patients facing the end of life and their families. The volunteers are part of the interdisciplinary care teams that help care for patients.
Volunteers with Ohio’s Hospice can choose to provide direct patient support or indirect support for the mission of each affiliate. Direct care volunteers often visit with patients, wherever they call home, to provide companionship and respite for caregivers; provide transportation to appointments; run errands; deliver supplies and medications; provide music and animal-assisted therapy; and record patients’ memories. Indirect care volunteers assist with general office duties; participate in fundraising and community education; and assist with building and grounds maintenance tasks.
Volunteers also are fundamental to the American Pride® Veteran Care by Ohio’s Hospice program, which honors the service of Veteran patients and assures them of receiving the highest quality of care. In addition to celebrating and thanking Veterans for their service, American Pride assists patients in obtaining access to all the benefits to which Veterans are eligible, provides spiritual support, and addresses individual post-traumatic stress issues.
“Ohio’s Hospice and its affiliates recognize the importance of honoring the service of our nation’s Veterans,” LeVan said. “We are honored and privileged to celebrate the lives of Veterans and honor their contributions through participation in Veteran recognition ceremonies, Honor Flight and special observances and celebrations.”
Some individuals choose to volunteer with Ohio’s Hospice because they had a loved in hospice care, and they appreciated the care they received. “After my experience with hospice with my mom, I knew I could do the same for people in my community,” said Lisa Birkes, a volunteer with Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare who provides direct care in homes. “Being able to give someone peace of mind while I sit with a loved one is a blessing for me as much as it is a help to the family.”
Other individuals choose to volunteer simply to help others. Tom Gannon, a volunteer with Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, volunteered after he retired. “I wanted to give my time to a worthy cause,” he said. “I visit hospice patients three days a week. I talk, listen, and sing whatever puts a smile on their face. Just being there with them brings me great satisfaction. Sometimes I am their only family.”
Ohio’s Hospice is grateful to the nearly 1,200 volunteers who donate their time and talents to serving patients and families. “Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, our volunteers stepped up to make face masks for affiliates, gowns and visors for care teams, and called or wrote letters to patients to maintain contact and companionship,” LeVan said. “We’re thankful for their support of our mission.”
If you would like to learn more about volunteering, please visit: https://www.ohioshospice.org/volunteer-application/
You also can contact your local Ohio’s Hospice affiliate.
- 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 Dayton
- Ohio’s Hospice of Central Ohio
- Ohio’s Hospice of Fayette County
- Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County