Hospice Volunteer Reflection

I was really nervous when I walked into the dementia unit for the very first time. Even though we had an extensive orientation, I still didn’t know what to expect. But my nervousness disappeared the moment I saw my patient Anne in the dining room. The first word that come to my mind to describe … Continue reading “Hospice Volunteer Reflection”

Rethinking How We Deal With Death

Death and fear are two words that quite often occupy the same sentence, but where does this fear of death come from? From the day we are born, the world we live in teaches us to fear death. We avoid talking about death. We refrain from actions that may cause death. We do everything we … Continue reading “Rethinking How We Deal With Death”

What More Can We Do?

I was lucky to have had the same patient, Sally, for the entirety of my participation in the hospice program. Creating a meaningful relationship with Sally was easy; she is talkative and loves having company. We spent most of our time together talking about her family. She has 5 children and a number of grandchildren, … Continue reading “What More Can We Do?”

Reflections on a Year of Growth

I have been fortunate enough to see the same hospice patient for my entire time in this program. Vivian is a sweet woman that loves to talk, although her vascular dementia means that her conversations are often confusing to follow and she never remembers exactly who I am. Still, her face always lights up with … Continue reading “Reflections on a Year of Growth”

My Time with Hospice

I spent most of my time throughout the hospice volunteer program with my patient Johanna and her husband Jonathan, whom she lived with in an apartment in a facility. Early on in my visits with her, Johanna always greeted me with a smile and hug and usually complimented my appearance. She was very quick-witted, often making jokes … Continue reading “My Time with Hospice”

Reflection on Aging and Death

I did not know what to expect during my first visit with Jan. I was not only nervous about meeting someone new and about the possibility that Jan would not want me to visit, but I was also uncomfortable with the possible conversations about life and death that would ensue. My relationship with Jan began … Continue reading “Reflection on Aging and Death”

Lessons Learned From Hospice

I first applied to the Ascend Hospice volunteer program to expand my understanding of death. I felt that I had a solid stance on death from my religious and philosophical views. Nonetheless, I had very little experience dealing with death firsthand, and I had no experience with the dying process. Deeming such experiences necessary to … Continue reading “Lessons Learned From Hospice”

The Final Days

Every Sunday I would wake up looking forward to meeting Dora, thinking about how my visit would bring a bit of happiness to her life and someone to talk to and share experiences with. I noticed that regardless of how refined an assisted living facility may be, it is difficult for patients to have company given … Continue reading “The Final Days”

My Hospice Experience

One of my most meaningful relationships that I developed during this hospice volunteer program has been with the husband of my patient. Over the past few months, we would play cards and keep my patient involved and talking as much as possible. However, even on the days when my patient wasn’t able to make it … Continue reading “My Hospice Experience”

Redefining a Doctor’s Success

When I first told my friends and family that I was going to volunteer at a hospice through this program, they all told me that this was probably the worst experience for me to have. They all said I was too sensitive and that I would not be able to separate what I felt at … Continue reading “Redefining a Doctor’s Success”