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Arbor Hospice plans 4-session hospice volunteer training

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(Chelsea Update would like to thank Jaclyn Klein for the information in this story. Publisher’s note, although these classes take place out of the Chelsea community, I thought they might interest community members.)

Is one of your resolutions to get more involved in the community through volunteering? Then, here’s an opportunity you might consider.

Arbor Hospice will hold four training sessions beginning Jan. 27, that include opportunities to learn more about patient companionship, caregiver relief, facilitating pet therapy patient interaction, music visits or administrative support.

The training is geared to bring comfort and companionship to patients facing life-limiting illnesses, and their families. Volunteers choose locations they are most comfortable visiting within Arbor Hospice’s seven county service area – often times its locations close to their own home or work.

The four training sessions will be held at Arbor Hospice’s Ann Arbor office at 2366 Oak Valley Dr.

The comprehensive training sessions are set for every Monday and Wednesday from Jan. 27 through Feb. 5. All classes run 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Volunteers play a key role in Arbor Hospice’s mission to provide the highest quality of comfort and support in patients’ homes, assisted living facilities and nursing homes within the community, as well as The Residence of Arbor Hospice.

During the training sessions, volunteers will learn the differences between hospice and palliative care and how to interact with Arbor Hospice patients and families. This will include communication techniques, active listening, overcoming cultural differences, and gaining an understanding on how spirituality and grief affect patients and families.

Reporting and documentation requirements, as well as varying guidelines for visiting patients in long-term care facilities and in their homes are also explained.

Helga Safranek, the wife of Arbor Hospice patient, Frank Safranek raved about the volunteers who visited her husband.

Over the course of eight months, when Frank was an Arbor Hospice patient, three different volunteers made visits to the Safranek home. They each provided companionship and a listening ear by engaging in activities Frank enjoyed.

“One of the volunteers was a carpenter, and helped Frank varnish one of his unfinished projects,” Helga Safranek said. “I can’t begin to explain how much that meant to us. To have someone spend time with Frank and help him do something he loved, was so wonderful. After months of being unable to use his artistic skills and work in his workshop, Frank had that opportunity.”

Arbor Hospice volunteers are unique and compassionate individuals willing to help someone in a time of need. In keeping with health care industry guidelines, Arbor Hospice provides a thorough training to ensure volunteers are fully prepared to assist patients, as well as provide a brief respite to caregivers. Make-up sessions are available for prospective volunteers who cannot make every date during the training series.

“Arbor Hospice relies on the support of caring and compassionate individuals to help ensure our patients and their families receive the utmost level of care,” said Gloria D. Brooks, president and CEO of Arbor Hospice. “Arbor Hospice volunteers are an essential part of our team.”

For more information about Arbor Hospice’s volunteer opportunities, email [email protected] or call 734-794-5396.

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