Photo: From left are Yvonne Otts, Hamilton Hospice volunteer, and Megan Little, volunteer bereavement coordinator.
DALTON, Ga. (March 1, 2016) – Yvonne Otts has been a Hamilton Hospice volunteer for more than 17 years. When she first began volunteering for hospice, she had no prior experience, but after reading an article about hospice she thought she would give it a try.
“I was nervous at first,” says Otts. “But it turned out great!”
Otts’ advice to perspective volunteers is to understand hospice is not depressing. “It’s actually uplifting when you know you’ve helped someone,” she says. “We do it to make a difference. It’s not about what you do, it’s about being there.”
She says she knows that volunteering with hospice isn’t just about being there for the patients. It’s also about being there for their family members. She says often when she meets families, they are scared of hospice because they think it only means death, but she says, “hospice is actually about support and comfort.”
Otts feels she can empathize with families because of her understanding of hospice from the caregiver perspective. When her father became sick and no longer wanted treatment, he was placed on hospice. She remembers the difficulty of accepting her father’s impending death, but what she saw from the hospice team was care and concern. She says from then on she knew that Hamilton Hospice associates look at patients as if they are a person, not just a patient or a number.
“You can make a difference in someone's life and the lives of their family members,” says Megan Little, volunteer bereavement coordinator.
The Hamilton Hospice program's goal is to connect passionate people with others who need a simple act of kindness. These acts of kindness may include friendly visits, letter writing, sharing hobbies, picking up groceries or other manageable activities. Volunteers are needed for direct patient contact or for other supporting positions. Schedules are flexible.
To learn more about volunteering with Hamilton Hospice, please call Little at 706-278-2848.