Great moments can be small moments—a Hospice Volunteer’s story.
Years ago, I walked into a patient home, he lived in a small studio apartment alone. I knocked on the sliding glass door and he yield for me to come in, I must admit I was a little nervous, my assignment was to assist with a bath and shave him. I was told that he was amputee. Each patient is different and has different needs. Normally it does not take me long to become involved with a patient. It is important to me to learn about the patient’s past, family, likes, dislikes, and what makes the patient smile. The patient learns that I am there to help, to listen, and to be quiet—whatever the patient needs. We share experiences, have new experiences, and all confidential when I leave. This time was different, I think he was nervous or sensed that I was nervous, he was not happy I was there and was not very nice to me. We got the bath and shave done. I walked out thinking maybe this is not a good fit. Even though he was not very nice at the first visit, there was something about him that made me want to go back, I did not want to give up. My next visit was better, we started sharing stories and asking each other questions. My next visit was even better, I would get him in the bath, and we would start singing together and laughing. Over the next several months we sang every song I could think of. At the end of the baths, he would always say thank you so much, I feel so good. It a huge honor for me to be a part of his care that allowed him to die at home and with dignity. So thankful that I did not give up and he let me in.
2020 Memorial Tree Virtual Video
To provide excellence in end-of-life care, serious illness management, and bereavement services; as well as support and education for patients, families, and caregivers.