Care Moment: 11th Hour Volunteer
Just when we thought our Compassus hospice volunteers could not provide any more dedication, compassion, and kindness to our patients, enter our 11th Hour hospice volunteers. These specialized volunteers receive extensive training that goes beyond our standard hospice volunteer training. Trained to sit by the bedside of our actively dying patients, in their final days and hours, the 11th Hour hospice volunteers offer the gift of a calming presence and peace for the patient and family.
The Gift of Presence
After receiving a last-minute request for overnight volunteers for a dying patient at a facility, Compassus Volunteer Coordinator Nancy Oxenhandler’s response was “Well, I’ll see if I can find anyone, but I wouldn’t count on it.” Lo and behold, two volunteers quickly responded to the request and sat with the patient from 10p.m. until 6:00a.m., just enough time for the family to go home and rest and return in the early morning. Late that afternoon, Nancy contacted the patient’s son to check in with him and see if he’d like her to try to cover that overnight shift again. “Yes, that would be wonderful,” he said. And it happened again. One returning volunteer and a different volunteer from the first night sat with the patient through the wee hours. On the third day, Nancy called the patient’s son to see if he’d like 11th hour support for his dad. His response, “I really don’t want to stress out these folks.” she replied, “No stress at all, that’s why they volunteer. If it doesn’t work for them, they won’t offer.” Sure enough, the returning volunteer committed to the overnight again along with another different volunteer. The patient passed away the next day, with his family bedside. For them, the peace of knowing their dad/grandfather was not alone each overnight was monumental. For three nights, these devoted 11th Hour volunteers stayed with the patient, sometimes alone, sometimes sitting alongside a family member and keeping them company. Dedicated, devoted, and committed doesn’t even begin to describe these remarkable 11th Hour volunteers.
To all our volunteers that embody the Compassus ‘Care for who I am’ philosophy, we thank you for your selfless dedication to our patients and families. Learn how you can make a difference by becoming a Compassus volunteer.
At Compassus, our value is in the compassion and expertise of our teams, which act as an extension of patients’ existing care teams. We believe everyone who interacts with us should experience our individualized Care for who I am philosophy, from the care services we provide to patients and families to how we interact with our partners and one another.