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Hospice

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I'm thinking of trying to volunteer for the local Hospice, and I was wondering if anyone else had experience with that kind of volunteer work, or even experience with a hospice in general.

It's not like I have a lot of free time (definitely don't :rolleyes: ) but it's something that for some reason appeals to me. I took a class on death and dying a year ago and I've been interested in and supportive of hospice ever since. I think I also need another volunteer opportunity, although scouts is very rewarding. I think I could handle it emotionally, or at least I hope I'd be able to.

Any thoughts?

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Chelsea, good for you! Hospice is SO SO wonderful....we used them when my dad was dying of cancer almost 20 years ago....just the kindest people. I"ll never forget the kind words spoken at exactly the right time, about one hour before my dad died, by a gentle Hospice nurse, which prompted me into an action I might not have thought to do...

I went through the entire volunteer training in Monterey, then moved back home sooner than I expected, so I never did any of it there and didn't do it here because I was getting so sick, didn't have the energy to do it. There are all kinds of opportunities within hospice, from driving patients, to sitting wtih patients to relieve their loved ones/caregivers, to holding hands with the dying - they keep a vigil with the ones closest to death. Sorry if you already know this...I get kind of emotional thinking about Hospice and how wonderful they are. Honestly, while going through the training, I wasn't sure I could handle it emotionally, but the training is wonderful anyway so I never considered it a waste of time.

Give it a shot!

by the way, is that a bat costume you're wearing??

Blessings -

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My grandfather was in Hospice, and it was such a blessing! It was a beautiful facility, it had a family room with things to keep the kids busy, a giant bird cage - and you could get birds to keep in your room if you wanted!! They let us hold family activities there... good memories... I don't think you could go wrong volunteering there.

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Guest BERNESES

ChelsE- i think you'd be great!!! I can't imagine what we would have done without hospice when my mother was sick with sstomach cancer 3 years ago. They were more support than anyone- doctors, priests, etc. My mom's hospice nurse was Joe and he kept coming after she died to see ho WE were doing! They were the most amazing group of people ever. Without hospice, my mom probably would not have been able to stay at home which is what she wanted.

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DH said I'm sick enough without being around sick people all the time. Even though most hospice patients are not contagious, he has a point. I need to get myself straightened out before I can care for others...

So it is something I REALLY want to do, but it will probably have to wait until I've got my own health back...

I do think it'll give me extraordinary perspective, however.

(yes, I'm wearing a bat costume :))

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Guest BERNESES

yeah- I wanted to work part-time this winter as a children's ski instructor but my husband told me I was nuts. I was already teaching part-time and am in grad school and was having enough trouble keeping up with all that. It's hard because sometimes our minds want more than our bodies can handle. But you WILL get to the point where you feel like you can handle more, and then go for it.

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I really regret I didn't have the presence of mind to contact the Hospice earlier than I did. I was talking to them on the phone right when my father passed away. :\ My Mom appears to be nearing the end of her life now, I will definitely get them involved earlier this time.

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Guest BERNESES

nancy- Hugs to you. It's hard to lose our parents. Call hospice (or your mom's doctor can). They will be a source of comfort for you.

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BERNESES - teaching skiing part-time is a big commitment; I did it through undergrad to pay for school.

Have you thought of volunteering as a ski instructor for the disabled? I've been doing that for 9 years now through grad school and a post-doc. The volunteer instructor is low-commitment. It's usually a series of 4 to 8 lessons, once a week for just 2 hours, usually a Sat. morning or afternoon, or an evening after work. I found it really rewarding.

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Guest BERNESES

I've thought abaout doing that- THAT would be cool! that or horse back riding.

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The disabled horse back programs are awesome too. It is amazing to see kids with no mobility get their first taste of freedom. It's great too for kids with mental disabilities; they often seem to connect better with animals than they can with people.

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I work at an area hospice as a social worker- perdiem - I use to work fulltime doing hospice home care but it was too much for me.

There are so many different volunteer opportunities- sometimes you may just need to sit with a patient while the caregiver goes to church or to the store or sometimes just to sit with a patient who has no one.

If you find that being around people who are terminal too much you can always do something for thier foundation- like organize fundraisers ect.

My Hospice work is something I cherish but doing it full time well...... that was draining but if you volunteer its not like your obligated you can control how much you want to help out-

Any more questions just let me know

Abbie

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