For Jean Stabilito, being a Hospice volunteer is a calling. Recently retired, she felt a deep desire to volunteer with Liberty Hospice, a service of Liberty Lutheran, and to use her faith and knowledge to be a presence with people who are dying.
“As a registered nurse at Artman for more than 20 years, I’ve been with many residents at the end of their lives. In some cases, if it weren’t for the staff they would have died alone,” says Jean.
Some might say these Hospice volunteers are sent from heaven. As a vital member of the interdisciplinary team they work alongside hospice professionals to offer comfort and support for the dying patient and their family.
As a Medicare–certified program, Liberty Hospice volunteers must be trained and supervised in order to provide respite and support for patients and families. During the training they learn about the hospice philosophy, their duties and responsibilities, the roles of the team members, and procedures to follow if assistance or further instruction is needed.
They also learn about the importance of confidentiality, patient and family rights, family dynamics, coping mechanisms, procedures to follow in case of an emergency, and the issues they may encounter regarding terminal illness, death and bereavement.
Most people who work in Hospice, either as a professional or volunteer, have had a previous experience with Hospice. From this, they have gained invaluable insight and understand the importance of not only providing comfort to the patient, but providing a break, or respite for the family.
“As professionals we are focused on the clinical needs of the patient,” says Nicole Curran, Director of Liberty Hospice.
“We’re focused on the tasks at hand and the patients’ medical needs. The volunteers are able to meet the patients where they are. This might be a walk outside, reading to them, or simply just sitting quietly together. They are like a balm for the soul.”
Click here for more information about volunteering with Liberty Hospice.
About Liberty Lutheran
Incorporated in 2001 and headquartered in Ambler, Pa., Liberty Lutheran, with locations across Pennsylvania and combined service history of 300 years, faithfully provides vital resources to more than 61,000 individuals and families facing life-changing situations. These individualized services include independent and personal care, assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, hospice care, in-home supports, wellness services, children and family services, integration services for immigrants and political refugees and disaster response. Liberty Lutheran’s team of dedicated employees serves individuals and families through their family of services in Pennsylvania, including Artman, Paul’s Run Retirement Community, Liberty at Home, Liberty Hospice, Lutheran Children and Family Services, Lutheran Congregational Services, The Hearth at Drexel (formerly Mary J. Drexel,) and The Village at Penn State. www.libertylutheran.org