(June 11, 2012) –Hospice volunteers are part of the Hospice care team and serve in various capacities as caring companions and play an important role in enhancing the quality of life for both the hospice patient and their family. Hospice volunteer support includes companionship, respite, errands, transportation, and a general willingness to be a “caring friend.”
Since 1987, Wing Hospice has provided care and support to terminally-ill patients and families throughout the Quaboag Hills and Pioneer Valley. The mission of Wing Hospice is to uphold the reverence for life by helping the dying live as comfortably and fully as possible and to educate the community on end-of-life care choices. Wing Hospice serves communities throughout the Quaboag Hills and Pioneer Valley including, Belchertown, Bondsville, Brimfield, East Longmeadow, Granby, Hampden, Holland, Ludlow, Monson, Palmer, Springfield (eastern sections), Thorndike, Three Rivers, Wales, Warren, West Brookfield, West Warren, and Wilbraham. The program also provides hospice care to residents of Palmer Healthcare Center, Wingate at Wilbraham, LifeCare Center of Wilbraham and Quaboag Skilled Care Center in West Brookfield. The staff of hospice consists of registered nurses; a medical director and associate medical director; medical social workers; pastoral care; physical, occupational, and speech therapists; home health aides; and trained hospice volunteer caregivers.
Nine local people recently completed the Wing Hospice nine week volunteer training program and received their certificates of completion at a recent luncheon in their honor.
“This was the largest and most attentive group we have trained as volunteer caregivers in a while,” said Marcia Turner, RN, BSN, CHPN, Wing Hospice manager. “It is great to have fresh faces. It is a real blessing to have these folks as a part of our team.”
The program orients the participant to the essentials of hospice care and offers comprehensive training in the knowledge and skills that will enable a positive interaction with hospice patients and their families.
The recent volunteer “graduates” are: Elizabeth Williams (Monson); Maureen T. Fuller (Palmer); Patricia Harrington (Three Rivers); Wendy Baker (Wales); Bernadette Gelinas (West Warren); Diane Jurczyk (Three Rivers); Judith Tirrell (Monson); Nancy Ungerwitter (Monson); and Beverly Rooney (Thorndike).
“I feel that this experience is my way of ‘paying it forward,’ and very humbling,” said Elizabeth Williams of Monson who noted that she received great care from various community volunteers following the tornado last year and wanted to give back in some way. She added, “When my mother in law passed in February under hospice care in Rhode Island, I was there as a part of this process and knew I wanted to do more to help families in need.”
Judith Tirrell of Monson has been a nurse for many years and witnessed the care and compassion that hospice volunteers provide to patients and families. “I have always wanted to become more involved and to be there unconditionally during this process. This is a way for me to help in a new way,” said Tirrell.
The newly trained volunteers will work closely with Wing Hospice professional staff as a part of the care team. For more information on how you can become involved as a hospice volunteer, please call Father Domenic Ciannella at 413-283-9715.
“We are so grateful for our volunteers,” said Fr. Ciannella. “They bring enthusiasm and compassion to the team and have so much to contribute just by being themselves.”
About Wing Memorial Hospital & Medical Centers & UMass Memorial Health Care
Wing Memorial Hospital and Medical Centers
Wing Memorial Hospital and Medical Centers, a member of UMass Memorial Health Care, has a rich history of caring for the health of the citizens of the Quaboag Hills and the Pioneer Valley. The hospital, located in Palmer, provides the region’s residents with a broad range of emergency, medical, surgical, and psychiatric services. The five medical centers in Belchertown, Ludlow, Monson, Palmer, and Wilbraham offer extensive outpatient services to meet the needs of our surrounding communities. The Wing Memorial Health Care system also includes the Griswold Behavioral Health Center and the Wing VNA and Hospice.
Contributions and memorial gifts to Wing Hospice are deeply appreciated. For information, call the Wing Memorial Development Office at 413-284-5798 or email to: email@example.com.
UMass Memorial Health Care
UMass Memorial Health Care is the largest not-for-profit health care system in Central New England with more than 13,000 employees and nearly 2,000 physicians, many of whom are members of UMass Memorial Medical Group. Our member hospitals and entities include Clinton Hospital, HealthAlliance Hospital, Marlborough Hospital, UMass Memorial Medical Center, Wing Memorial Hospital and Medical Centers and Community Healthlink, our behavioral health agency. With our teaching and research partner, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, our extensive primary care network and our Cancer, Diabetes, Heart and Vascular, and Musculoskeletal Centers of Excellence we deliver seamless programs of quality and compassionate care for patients across our health care system.