Amedisys is a healthcare organization partnered with the Cape Fear Volunteer Center. They specialize in end of life hospice care as well as home based healthcare. Amedisys has partnered with us to help recruit volunteers to provide companionship for patients nearing the end of their lives due to terminal illness. Volunteers would help with things such as grooming, massage therapy, pet therapy and much more. A potential volunteer can sign up to help Amedisys by completing a volunteer form online at www.capefearvolunteercenter.org and listing it as their “Desired Agency”.
For many people nearing the end of their lives, it can be a lonely journey. Often, these people do not have close family or friends to surround themselves with to make the inevitable less painful. They could be alone near the end for any number of reasons, like being the last of their family or friends, having no close family members who would bother visiting or simply due to estrangement. Other patients’ families simply cannot spare as much time and can be overwhelmed with the burden of caring for a dying family member. The loneliness these terminally ill patients experience could not only dampen their spirits, it could even cause a more precipitous decline in health and has been linked to the increased likelihood of developing dementia in elderly patients.
The benefits of a patient near the end of life having a volunteer companion are many. For the patient, they will have someone to talk to who isn’t medical staff. Having someone to provide companionship can improve their mood and ease the intense depression, loneliness and anxiety that comes when one knows the end is near. This can help tremendously with improving the mental health and well being of hospice patients. And you don’t have to come alone, you can bring a four legged friend as well. Pet therapy is also encouraged for patients. Studies show that even one half hour session with a dog can raise dopamine levels, as well as other hormones associated with happiness and relief. For volunteers knowledgeable in massage therapy, you can employ those skills with Amedisys patients. Massage therapy is great for relieving the aches and pains associated with being ill, bedridden or elderly and also releases hormones associated with relaxation and positive emotions. There are many ways in which you, as a volunteer, can improve the lives of hospice care patients.
The benefits of volunteering with patients near the end of life extend to the families of these patients, as well. The families can often act as secondary caretakers for patients near the end. This undertaking can be very time consuming and they often cannot be there as much as they would want to because of other pressing responsibilities. Having someone volunteer with their ailing loved one and provide them with companionship can be a tremendous boon for them. It can be a major comfort for them knowing that their loved one has another person in their life who can be with them and help out.
The spectre of death can be a painful, frightening and uncomfortable thing to be around but it is also another aspect of life. Spending time with a person near the end of their life can bring about a huge emotional toll, but it can mean the world to them to have one more person in their lives near the end.
Want to volunteer for Amedisys? Select it as your desired agency when filling out our online volunteer form at www.capefearvolunteercenter.org
Would you or your business like to partner with Amedisys? Register on our website or theirs at https://www.amedisys.com
Have any questions? Call 910-392-8180