In the seven years that Mary Conger has been volunteering for Community Care Hospice, she has worked in a variety of roles and learned that time spent sitting with another person, especially a person at end of life, is time well spent. Find out what else Mary has to say about her experience as dedicated volunteer of Community Care Hospice:
Q. What drew you to spend your time helping the cause?
A. Community Care Hospice was called when my mother was ill. I experienced the support of hospice, and I know how reassuring it can be. I wanted to give families the opportunity to feel that comfort, support and security when they need it most.
Q. What types of work do you do when you volunteer?
A. Throughout the years, I’ve done lots of different jobs. I help out in the office doing administrative tasks and spend a lot of time helping with caregiver relief. If the caregiver needs to work around the house, go out for a haircut, shop for groceries or simply get away for a bit, I will come to their home and look after the patient. I’ve gone to nursing homes or rehabilitation centers to visit patients. I try to come up with creative ways to engage the patient or strike up conversation, even if it’s just for 30 minutes. I also will bring Community Care Hospice’s Companion Pets to nursing homes to sit with the patients who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.
These electronic, interactive stuffed animals bring so much comfort to those we are caring for.
Q. What have you learned about yourself in your time volunteering?
A. I truly feel like the patients I sit with have given me a richer life and a purpose. Volunteering reminds me that people still appreciate kindness. An hour or two out of my day may not seem like much, but to the patients that I talk to, it is of tremendous value. Their day can be made by a visit from a companion; their entire mood can change just from a visit. I can’t imagine doing any other work that could give me such a sense of worth and help out someone else in such a big way.
Q. What would you say to someone who might be interested in supporting Community Care Hospice?
Supporting the cause is money or time well spent. You will never regret helping a person whose needs are great. There are no do-overs in this life. Get out there and help, I promise you won’t regret it.
For more information on how you can help support patient needs with Community Care Hospice, call 937.382.5400.