SPARTANBURG — A faith-based organization is giving residents of the Upstate the opportunity to help it make a difference in the lives of the terminally ill and their families.
According to its website (www.agapehospice.com) Agapé Hospice provides “a loving faith-based environment that offers compassionate end of life care to individuals and their families. We understand the challenges that come with having a loved one with a terminal illness, and we want to help. Selecting quality hospice care is necessary to maintaining their quality of life and easing your concerns as a patient or caregiver.”
The website explains that hospice care “focuses on the needs and well being of those with a terminal illness, regardless of the type of disease. Unlike a hospital, which focuses on treatment of the disease, a hospice focuses on the patient as a person and helping them to live comfortably. Not only do we help with caregiver tasks, such as dressing, feeding, and bathing, we also provide emotional and spiritual support to patients and their families.”
Helping provide that emotional and spiritual support are the adult and teen volunteers who work with Agape Hospice “to bring some normalcy to the day-to-day life of our patients and providing a sense of comfort and support to the patient and the caregiver.”
Agapé Hospice is seeking volunteers from Union County and the rest of the Upstate to join its “Life Enrichment Volunteer Program” and help it give its clients in the region and their families that day-to-day normalcy and sense of comfort and support.
A flyer asking for volunteers issued by the organization states that “there comes a time in our lives when we want to do something special; to make a difference in the quality of life for others and for ourselves. Opportunities for volunteering with Agapé Hospice are endless. You will be working with our life enrichment specialists to make a difference in the everyday lives of Agapé Hospice patients and their families.”
The flyer states that the organization’s “Life Enrichment Program improves the lives of all our patients by stimulating them everyday with activities, socialization, exercise and interaction. With the help of our volunteers, Agapé Hospice provides compassionate, individualized care for our patients.”
In order to do this, the flyer states that “Agapé Hospice maintains a qualified volunteer staff to enhance our company’s ongoing pursuit of excellence. Life Enrichment volunteers offer an extra dimension of care and service to patients and their families.”
Who Can Volunteer
As for who can volunteer, the flyer states that the Life Enrichment Volunteer Program “is open to anyone. We welcome caring people who have some time to share with others, a desire to give of themselves, a sense of responsibility and a willingness to be flexible and learn new skills.”
Teenagers are eligible to participate in the Life Enrichment Volunteer Program as “junior volunteers” who will “have an opportunity to learn about healthcare related careers and earn community service credit, while providing the same caring services. Please visit your school guidance counselor or academic adviser for credit information.”
You Can Help
The flyer states that “Life Enrichment volunteer services can be an exceptional gift to our patients and their families” with volunteers offering a variety of services such as:
• Holding hands
• Reading to the patient
• Conversing and listening to patients families with compassion
• Playing music
• Sharing flowers from a florist or your garden
• Making prayer shawls, afghans or gift baskets
• Celebrating a holiday or another special moment
• Cutting the grass, housecleaning, cooking/baking
• Scrapbooking or journaling memories
• Providing food for bereaved families
• Assisting with paperwork, filing, copying
• Smiles and laughter
• Visiting bereaved families
• Assisting with bereavement programs
To become a volunteer and/or for more information contact Agapé Hospice Upstate Volunteer Manager Gloria Smith at 864-436-8748 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.