This is a press release submitted to the Las Vegas Sun. It has not been verified or edited by the Sun.
Make a Resolution to Help Others: Volunteers Needed at Solari Hospice Care
Published on Wed, Dec 12, 2012 (1:35 p.m.)Before the big ball descends from the flagpole at Times Square and millions join in singing Auld Lang Syne, about half of all Americans will make New Year’s resolutions. According to the government website www.usa.gov, one of the most popular resolutions is “Volunteer to Help Others.”
At Solari Hospice Care, volunteers contribute a variety of talents and skills. Volunteers can provide family members with short-term respite relief to get away from home for an hour or so, or they can sit with patients, reading to them, running errands or helping with household chores. Some volunteers share a special knowledge or hobby, such as speaking a second language or playing music. Other volunteers can provide specialized services to patients, like notary services. Solari also uses volunteers to answer phones, assist with receptionist duties or perform light secretarial support.
“Volunteers are at the heart of our hospice program,” says Shari Diebold, volunteer coordinator, Solari Hospice Care. “Even doing the smallest, simplest things can have a huge impact on the lives of our patients and their families.”
Lisa Carson has been a hospice volunteer for 10 years and a volunteer with Solari Hospice Care since 2008. Although she works full-time as an accountant for a construction company during the week and works part-time work as an accountant/bookkeeper for several senior citizens on weekends, she feels it’s important to carve out time to give back to her community.
“Right now, I spend about one to two hours a week – usually on Saturdays – visiting a hospice patient in the nursing home where’s she staying,” says Carson. “She loves for me to read to her. It’s not a big deal for me to carve out the time, but it’s a huge deal for her. She tells me it makes her day when I’m there.”
Carson has volunteered with numerous patients, both at Solari’s inpatient center and most recently, in their homes or places of residence. Mostly, she says, she offers a listening ear and a comforting presence.
“People have the most amazing stories – about their families, what they’ve done in their lives, where they’ve been,” she says. “I’ve learned so much, and the patients appreciate getting the chance to pass along their experiences and stories.”
For several months, Carson volunteered at the home of a couple whose children lived out of town. The woman was ill and her husband was her primary caregiver.
“About the only time he could leave the house was when I was there,” notes Carson. “He was so grateful to be able to go the grocery store, run errands and have a couple of hours to himself. And, the woman was grateful for my company. They were wonderful people and we formed a close bond. By the time the woman passed away several months later, I felt like a part of their family.”
Although Carson is the one giving of her time and talents, she insists that really she is the one on the receiving end.
“What’s ironic is that I’m here to give, but end up getting so much out of it myself,” says Carson. “Often, when I leave a patient’s home, I feel on top of the world to know I’ve been able to reach out to someone in need and make a difference. People are so grateful and thankful for everything that I do. The world would be a better place if everyone could find a way to give of themselves in some small way.”
Volunteers at Solari Hospice Care go through several hours of orientation and hospice training. Hospice volunteers also receive ongoing in-service education. Schedules are flexible, and are designed around the volunteer’s availability and interests.
To volunteer or for more information, please contact Shari Diebold, volunteer coordinator, Solari Hospice Care, at 702-870-0000. For more information about Solari Hospice Care, please visit www.solarihospice.com or follow @SolariHospice on Twitter or Facebook.