Volunteers do not give of their time hoping for reward or recognition. They give it freely to help support, encourage and assist their terminally ill neighbors, friends and complete strangers. Hospice of Eastern Maine (HOEM) is grateful for its 123 volunteers that provided 6,613 hours of service in numerous capacities in 2012.
“Simply stated, we would not have a hospice program without our volunteers,” says Wayne Melanson, HOEM Volunteer Manager. “In fact, Medicare requires that 5% of all direct hospice patient care is provided by volunteers. Annually, our volunteers greatly exceed that percentage. They are well-known for their commitment and dedication in the communities we serve.”
Volunteers are carefully matched to patients and families by geography, services needed, availability, and common interests. While most HOEM volunteers work directly with hospice patients and families, others prefer to be trained as facilitators to work with grieving children. Some choose to use their administrative gifts to help in the office and/or assist with fundraising efforts for the program.
“One volunteer, Kathy Vanaria, used her passion for creative expression to develop The Legacy Project,” explains Melanson. “This is free service to HOEM patients and families and offers the chance to tell their story, their way. A one-of-a-kind DVD is created using pictures, music and video that families can cherish forever.”
Teile Benson, another volunteer who is also one of the founders of HOEM, supplies prayer shawls for hospice patients and families interested in having one through her church’s prayer shawl ministry.
Hospice of Eastern Maine has been providing services for 32 years. Our staff and volunteers provide compassionate end-of-life care to over 150 patients and their families. A part of the Eastern Maine HomeCare Family and a member of EMHS, Hospice of Eastern Maine works to ensure the highest quality hospice is available to those who need it. For more information about our home care and hospice services, please visit www.easternmainehomecare.org or call our EMHC Patient Referral Line toll-free 1-866-591-8843.