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Hospice volunteers help in many ways
Volunteers with therapy dogs help by visiting patients.

Have you ever considered volunteering for Hospice? Maybe you have the desire but don't feel that you would be well-suited to working one-on-one with hospice patients and their families. Well, Krista Haynes, patient/family volunteer coordinator at Hospice Cleveland County (HCC) would like to encourage you to learn more about the wide variety of volunteer opportunities available at HCC.
"We are always in need of volunteers to serve patients and families at the bedside, but we also need people to assist in the office, to help raise awareness about HCC, to contribute to educational programs, to provide fundraising support and much, much more," she says. "I think a lot of people don't even think about volunteering with us because they think they would have to work directly with patients, but all of our volunteers are very important to the work that we do."
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization reports that approximately 430,000 trained hospice volunteers provide more than 19 million hours of service to hospice programs each year. An estimated 1.6 million patients in the U.S. are cared for by hospice every year.
"It is federally mandated under Medicare that 5 percent of all patient-care hours be provided by trained volunteers," says Haynes. "This shows the vital role that volunteers play in hospice."
On Tuesday, April 24, 2018, HCC will honor more than 175 community members who are already volunteering with the organization. A superhero-themed party on that day will feature educational webinars along with refreshments and giveaways.
"Our volunteers play an indispensable role in enabling HCC to offer the best care possible for our patients, their families and caregivers. By sharing their time, energy and expertise, these volunteers bring compassion and care to the lives of those in need - they truly are our superheros!" says Haynes.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, Haynes encourages you to give her a call at 704-751-3547. For those interested in working with patients, the next training will be a 12-hour class that has morning and afternoon time options. The classes will be offered on Monday, April 9, Tuesday, April 10 and Thursday, April 12 from 9 a.m. - noon or from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. each day. Online training is also now available - contact Haynes for more information.
Hospice Cleveland County exists to provide high-quality skilled care and support for individuals with a life-limiting illness, their families and the community, regardless of ability to pay. HCC serves patients in Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties. While most Hospice patients are served in their homes, Wendover Hospice House in Shelby and Testa Family Hospice House in Kings Mountain provide 24 rooms for patients unable to stay at home.
For more information about Hospice Cleveland County, visit the organization's web site at www.hospicecares.cc or call 704-487-4677.

By April Hoyle Shauf

Special to Community First Media

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