“Hospice were with him and the family all the way along his last journey. Stories like this always stick in my mind, and are the reason I volunteer for Hospice.”
“My name is Linda, I have been a Volunteer for 16 years and worked in many areas of Hospice. My main area of volunteering has been in the “In Patient Unit”. I have also been involved in many fundraising events over the years and latterly I have been working with the Hospice at Home Team.
I have many fond memories of the Patients, Staff and fellow Volunteers I have met over the years. All of the patients have a unique story a few of these I would like to share.
My first introduction to the ‘I’ Newspaper, was I would collect a copy from the Nobles shop, and would the read it to one of the gentleman patients. One day he said to me “I would like a Harpist to play at my funeral, this I was able to organise as his last wish. At the time we had recently held an Afternoon Tea fundraiser in a very pleasant garden where a Harpist was playing. I contacted the same Harpist and she was glad to oblige at his funeral. The gentleman had no family and just a few of his friends were there.
One of the other patients on hearing that we were running an Afternoon Tea at Hospice, asked me as a last treat for his friends, could he bring some of them along. The gentleman really did have some very good friends, 12 turned up to support him and they all had a lovely afternoon. Only after he had passed I was talking to my cousin one day and she told me that in his early life as a child he had spent sometime in the care of my Aunt who was a Foster Mother. I really wish I had known.
On another occasion on entering the patients bedroom, which was occupied by an elderly Lady struggling to write her last wishes and will. She dictated her wishes to me which I wrote in my best long hand for to give to her legal representative to do formal writing. I felt very honoured.
Only recently I sat with an elderly lady with dementia, I was asked to see if I could get the lady to take a drink of water. On her knee table was sitting a model comfort cat. These cats are very realistic and it is known that they can be a great comfort to a dementia sufferer. I started to interact with the cat, and on seeing this the lady’s face lit up and she started to stroke the cat and which brought about a calming effect, she started to drink. The lady didn’t have any conversation. A number of these dementia cats have been donated to Hospice by Rotary and they have proven to have a very calming and stabilising effect on patients. A very simple concept working very successfully.
Many of these patients as well as having an interesting story are quite inspirational. One that springs to mind was a young family man who very bravely fought his illness over a number of years helped by all the people at Hospice and his devoted family. Hospice were with him and the family all the way along his last journey. Stories like this always stick in my mind, and are the reason I volunteer for Hospice.”