Carol Jandreau has been familiar with Hospice programs for many years. But about four
years ago, after retiring from administrative assistant work at a local
coal mine, she decided she wanted to get more involved with Campbell County
Hospice program, and became a
Each week, Carol spends several days visiting with patients and their families
in the patient's home, the
long-term care facility,
Close to Home Hospice Hospitality House, or anywhere the patient calls home. Volunteers like Carol can provide
several services such as companionship, emotional support, reading, letter
writing, errands, light housekeeping, respite, meals and visiting.
Even though some would find it difficult helping individuals with end-of-life-care,
Carol sees it differently.
“For me, it’s not hard,” Carol said. “Sometimes
they just need a friend. Just letting them know someone’s there
Oftentimes that means Carol spends several hours reading to patients or
chatting about their lives. Sometimes it’s humming their favorite
tune or just being a presence in their room while they’re resting
so they’re not alone.
“They can say things to me that they hold back saying to their families,”
Carol said. “You help carry whatever they’re carrying that
day. I go with whatever they’re feeling.”
Volunteers like Carol are an important part of patient well-being, said
Tina Dickey, Hospice volunteer coordinator. And, according to Tina, Carol
is a true testament to the important role a volunteer can make.
“She’s just always there to do whatever needs to be done with
a smile on her face,” Tina said. “She goes above and beyond
all the time because she has a huge heart.”
There’s currently about 40 volunteers who volunteer for hospice on
a regular basis to help with office paperwork, visit with patients, or
assist with special events. Some bring cookies or other treats, while
others just bring their time and helping manner to support patients and
Always looking for more volunteers to assist in a variety of ways, Hospice is
hosting a training March 19, 22, 26 and 29 that includes four hours of training each day.
Those interested in volunteering must apply and complete a background
check, fingerprinting and an interview prior to the training. The training
is more extensive than some of the other trainings available through CCH
because of the nature of the volunteer work and the relationship to the
patients and their families, Tina said.
“They need to be compassionate and caring with a willingness to be
there and do what needs to be done,” Tina said. “With our
volunteers, a lot of them have had a personal Hospice experience.”
The training will go over the Hospice history and philosophy, as well as
delve into sensitive subjects like grieving and the nature of end-of-life care.
For volunteers like Carol, deciding to become a Hospice volunteer was easy
and everything Carol gives, she says she gets back two-fold.
“It has added a depth to my life,” Carol said. “They
fulfill something in me. Volunteering for Hospice is the most meaningful
volunteering I’ve ever done.”
Hospice volunteer applications can be downloaded at
www.cchwyo.org/volunteer. For more information, contact CCH
Volunteer Services Coordinator Chris Buxton at 688-1536 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org. The application deadline is February 16, 2018.
Article written by Kim Phagan-Hansel, Wyoming freelance writer