Testimonials & Volunteer Reflections

Patients, families and community members share their experiences with our programs, our volunteers and our agency.  Volunteers share their thoughts and feelings about the work and patients they love.

 

"While saying, "Thank-you" to the volunteers of Hospice Volunteer Services, in times such as these, it can't express just how grateful we truly are.  The volunteers contributed freely, resourcefully, honoring many hours, and dedicating selflessly, providing loving care for (Dad and Mom) during the final chapter of their lives."  ~Daughter-in-law & Caregiver of Hospice Patients 

"It's just really sinking in as fall begins that this is all behind me and the peace I feel is due in large part to how you all helped Dad.  I am so grateful for everything Hospice did for us and will never forget the loving kindness of all those who sat with my dad and with me."  ~Daughter of Hospice Patient 

"During most of (my grandmother's) stay in the hospital, she was very restless and fighting the inevitable, prior to (Wellspring) coming in and singing to her...  Once you sang to her, she seemed to have a sense of calm about her and seemed to be at peace with everything.  I am convinced that along with a slight adjustment to her body position, your singing is what allowed her to feel at peace with everything and pass into the next world in a calm manner...  You have no idea how appreciated we are in our family for what you did."  ~Communication from a Grandson  

"He's Still With Me"

Nancy Merolle, hospice volunteer:  A Volunteer Reflection

We always greeted each other with "who are we voting for today?"  We were old friends in the six or so months that we met weekly - at first at his family's home, then in the hospital and finally in the nursing home where he died.  His confinement to a wheelchair certainly had no influence on his incredible, can-do spirit, which is what had gotten him to his 90th year through several surgeries and cancers that should have taken him earlier.  He struggled tremendously through his physical therapy routine, but would assert, "They say I have to do it, so I will do it.  I want to feel better."

'Carlton' was my first hospice patient and he was, thank goodness, a very forgiving man when I made a mistake and he would just tell me what he needed.  Part of his physical therapy routine was to stand for more than a minute several times a day.  My part was to assist him to stand.  We would count to three, he would rock a little and do most of the work and I would help pull him up and help support him in the standing position.  One afternoon, we counted to three and he rocked and tried to stand and I pulled and he tried and I pulled and we couldn't get him up.  He sat back down after grunting and trying and me grunting and trying.  We tried again - and the same thing.  We couldn't figure it out.  Had he gotten weaker in the last week?  Then we figured it out.  The seat belt on the wheel chair had been fastened under his shirt, which covered it.  He had forgotten about it and I hadn't seen it.  It was trying to lift a baby elephant.  We shared a good laugh!

He and I would often go "flying."  He had had experiences in almost everything and we would just go there - sailing, flying, horses, cooking - you name it.  It was easy.  We would just start talking about the things he used to do and he would take me there with him.  This wonderful man was living every moment of his life past and present.  Carlton was a special soul and is still with me when I do the things we "did" together.    

Volunteer Reflections and Testimonials are an inside peek to Hospice Volunteer Services.  They show a very real snippet of the impact of our programs and services in our community.