March 26, 2010
For many dying patients, having a family member or loved one by their side during the last moments of life can be a source of great peace and comfort. Sometimes however, circumstances prevent family members or friends from being with their loved ones, or the elderly have simply outlived their family members. For these patients, Kenmore Mercy Hospital has created a Guardian Angel volunteer program with specially trained volunteers who can provide comfort and companionship to patients in their final hours of life.
Kenmore Mercy Hospital is currently seeking Guardian Angel volunteers who can make a difference for patients and families facing the end of life’s journey. All volunteers receive special training, followed by ongoing guidance and support.
Guardian Angel volunteers can contribute to the patient’s care by visiting, reading, sitting, or listening. They can be a comforting presence or provide much needed relief time to family members and friends keeping watch over their loved ones. In some cases, they will sit vigil with a dying patient, who would otherwise die alone.
“For the person who is dying, it can be a great comfort to have a companion with whom there is no previous history or baggage,” said Sister Ellen McClure, Vice President of Mission Integration at Kenmore Mercy Hospital. “These volunteers can not only provide a welcome break for family members, but also a reprieve for the patient, who may need time away from loved ones to come to terms with their own feelings about death and dying.”
Individuals interested in volunteering for Kenmore Mercy’s Guardian Angel Program, should contact Lynn Overbeck, CAVS, director of Volunteer Services at (716) 447-6188.