When listening to individuals discuss the end-of-life, most would say they would prefer to die at home, close to family, friends and familiar surroundings.
Allina Home & Community Services provides hospice care in 28 Minnesota counties to help make these requests a reality.
“Allina relies on volunteers to help provide support to patients and their families in hospice care and we are in need of volunteers in Cambridge,” said Lynette Durham, volunteer coordinator, Allina Home & Community Services. “We need volunteers to work directly with hospice patients and their family members to provide respite care and to be companions to those nearing the end-of-life.”
For the past seven years, Joyce Starks has been a direct-patient volunteer with Allina Hospice, working with patients and their families. Her roles include providing haircuts for those on hospice who cannot get to a salon or barber, to providing respite and assistance to caregivers, to helping with little things that would make life less stressful. Starks biggest role as a hospice volunteer may be to simply listen and be present.
“I am passionate about hospice,” Starks said. “Hospice is about living. It is about sharing life, which is a rich and treasured gift. When we are open to sharing life, our stories, all who share are strengthened and transformed. I am humbled when a family opens their door and welcomes me in. It is a privilege, an honor to walk life’s journey with them.”
When describing her experience volunteering with hospice patients Starks explains, “Little do these wonderful people know that it is I who receive; I who am strengthened; I who am better for having shared life with them.”
“Becoming a hospice volunteer enables you to help others at a special time in their life, share your skills and experience a great deal of self-satisfaction. Time and scheduling for hospice volunteer opportunities are flexible,” Durham said.
Allina Hospice will be holding a 14-hour free, two day training, consisting of Friday and a Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cambridge Medical Center this spring. To become a hospice volunteer or find out more, visit www.allina.com/hospice or call 612-262-7061.