Seeking Joy

The patient I’ve been visiting for the past 5 months, “Elaine,” has extremely advanced vascular dementia. During my visits, I usually try to talk or read to her. Since she’s hard of hearing, I’ll get really close to her face and touch her arm. The touch will almost “wake” her up for a few seconds … Continue reading “Seeking Joy”

My Experience

Watching Being Mortal and the prompts I received helped me view death a lot differently. I also took an APSD Preparing for Health Careers course at Villanova and it also gave us insight on the work of a hospice volunteer. We followed the story of one woman who was told by a family not to … Continue reading “My Experience”

Being Comfortable With Death

A difficult problem arises as society advances and medical technologies and treatments improve. In times like these, it is hard not to strive for the most aggressive form of treatment for one’s patient in hopes of prolonging their life. Yet, the endeavor of the medical profession should not solely be based on survival, but overall … Continue reading “Being Comfortable With Death”

A Glimpse into Two Lives

It is difficult to put experiences, much less people, into words. One could never do someone justice when describing all that they are, and how they have touched our lives. Nonetheless, it is important that we do so; we should not keep these experiences just for ourselves. This hospice experience was something I had never … Continue reading “A Glimpse into Two Lives”

A Deeper Understanding of Dying

A knock on the door goes unanswered. I step into the room, raise my voice to a stereo decibel, and say, “Hello Mr. Jackson!” Confused and dazed, Mr. Jackson responds, “Hello? What are you doing here?” I reassure him that I am just a guest there to chat and catch up on how things are … Continue reading “A Deeper Understanding of Dying”

My Journey of Life and Death

Mother Teresa once said, “Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.” This quote embodies the goals of the Ascend Hospice program for which I volunteered. In our world, all humans … Continue reading “My Journey of Life and Death”

A New Experience with the Aging Population: the Dying

I have been volunteering with the aging population since middle school, so I jumped at the opportunity to join the Pre-Med Hospice Volunteer Program with Ascend. I have previously volunteered in nursing homes, but hospice has been an entirely different, difficult, and rewarding experience altogether. In my prior volunteer experience, I always dealt with long-term … Continue reading “A New Experience with the Aging Population: the Dying”

Death & Dying

Throughout this year, I have visited two different patients. The first one, Ian, was easy to talk to. We were able to connect through conversations we had and activities we could do together. The second patient I visited, Jessica, was a very different experience, because dementia limited the ability for us to hold a conversation. … Continue reading “Death & Dying”

A Glimpse into The Unknown

I applied to the hospice program in the hopes that I would gain a better understanding into the world of death and dying. Interestingly enough, I have actually learned another valuable lesson. I have learned how to ignore the stereotypes surrounding those who may look ill from the outside, and instead focus on their soul … Continue reading “A Glimpse into The Unknown”

Accepted Deaths

My experiences in hospice care can be characterized as challenging and rewarding. Although I have been in Ascend Hospice for a short few months, I have created deep relationships with a patient and observed others pass on. Before entering the field, my presumption of hospice ominous. Recognizing an individual is approaching death and still familiarizing … Continue reading “Accepted Deaths”