By Lisa Carolin
Arbor Hospice is looking for volunteers in the Chelsea area. Experience with hospice patients is not required.
“Arbor Hospice serves patients and families throughout Chelsea, in their homes, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and more, wherever the patient calls home,” said Alana Knoppow, volunteer program manager for Arbor Hospice. “We have longstanding relationships with the Chelsea Retirement Community, Silver Maples of Chelsea, and many other organizations serving seniors in the city.”
Arbor Hospice has approximately 40 patients and families per year in the Chelsea area.
“You just have to have a big heart and an interest in spending time with those in their final months, weeks, or days of life, who need a hand to hold or a smiling face,” said Knoppow.
The main need for volunteer visits is during weekday mornings and afternoons. Arbor Hospice wants volunteers to make a one-year commitment or more. Anyone interested will be interviewed and given background checks and fingerprinted, and be given extensive training.
“We are looking for volunteers to provide companionship and social interaction with patients, visit them with their pets, play music for them, and provide visits in patients’ homes so that their family members can get out of the house for a bit to run errands or go to appointments,” said Knoppow.
“We are also looking for veterans who would like to spend time visiting with patients who are also veterans,” she said.
New volunteers are asked to wait one year following a close loss before volunteering.
“Our volunteers frequently comment that they ‘get more than they give,’ through their work with us,” said Knoppow. “They describe what an honor and privilege it is to be invited into a patient’s home during such an important time in their lives.”
She says that many of Arbor Hospice’s volunteers have had personal experiences with hospice and look at volunteering as a way to give back.