ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Compassus program serving Albuquerque and the surrounding communities honors hospice patients and their families with complementary life journals, encapsulating the thoughts, memories and philosophies of patients.
“At Compassus, we recognize the power of looking beyond a patient’s condition and into the stories they carry with them,” said Maria “Patsy” Garcia, volunteer coordinator at Compassus – Albuquerque. “Often when a patient enters the final chapter of his or her life, they spend time reflecting on their experiences and are eager to share them with us.”
In 2016, Compassus – Albuquerque developed six books as part of its Life Journal Project. The initiative is led by the program’s team of volunteers, who provide companionship and a listening presence to patients and their loved ones. During visits, volunteers take notes and record conversations with patients who choose to participate. These conversations are then turned into books that are presented to the patients and their families.
“The books become treasured keepsakes for families and future generations,” continued Garcia. “Many times they are surprised to learn things about their loved ones they hadn’t known before, making this project that much more special.”
Volunteers receive special training on many aspects of hospice care, including how to help patients recall memories and bring forward their stories.
For those interested in learning more about volunteering in hospice, please visit compassus.com/albuquerque or call 505-332-0847.