Meet the Hospice Volunteer: Jane Chilcott

| By Meredith Ford

Editor’s Note: We’re taking a little break this week and only running a Monday blog post. We’ll be back next week with our regularly scheduled posts.

We did a quick Q&A with one of our hospice volunteers. Volunteers are integral to the hospice care team because they can provide some much-needed companionship to a hospice patient and respite time for the patient’s caregiver.

Q: What led you to volunteer for a hospice organization?

A: Death has always interested me because it can be so beautiful, but unfortunately so many people dread/fear it. I have seen firsthand what hospice does to help people die in comfort and wanted to be part of that.

Q: What are your volunteer responsibilities?

A: I have a patient whom I visit for two hours a week as a companion. I also volunteer to help with other activities for which we are needed.

Q: In your opinion, what value does hospice bring to healthcare?

A: Hospice provides not only comfort items (hospital beds, oxygen, skilled nursing care, home visits, etc) for the patient but is able to help a person die without pain and often without fear and in peace. They also provide caregivers with valuable instruction and support.  I am only sorry that people do not understand that they can use hospice much earlier in the process than most currently do.

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

A: I am a very social animal and enjoy things that involve people:  playing bridge, visiting, exercise classes, both dry land and water, walking my dog, taking communion to people from my church who are home-bound, going out to dinner with friends, but believe it or not, I do read!  And I work crossword puzzles, watch PBS and have recently become addicted to Netflix!  For shame.

Q: When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A: When I was a child I did NOT want to be a teacher!  Yet, that is where my gifts were and I ended up teaching middle school, the kids I love most, for 25 years. I still miss it 23 years later.

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