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News Release: September 21, 2015
Hospitals Seek Volunteers for No One Dies Alone Program
Hinsdale – AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center, Hinsdale and AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center, La Grange are seeking volunteers for the No One Dies Alone program, which supports patients who are dying.
Volunteers are needed to serve as compassionate companions who will provide support for persons who are dying, and have no family or friends to sit with them.
“We wish to give dignity to all who are dying by providing a loving presence during their final hours,” said Aleksandra Tanurdzic, manager of pastoral care at AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center, La Grange. “We believe in patient-centered care, and we believe that no one should die alone. This program will be another way in which we extend the healing ministry of Christ.
“It is also a journey for the volunteers who will be spending time with the dying person,” Tanurdzic said. “Sitting with someone in their final hours is a profound experience. It is a sacred and unique time.
“Also, it means a great deal to our nurses and other medical staff members to know that their patients are not alone,” she said.
Informational meetings and training will begin in October. Volunteers who wish to serve as compassionate companions will receive training on the physical needs of the dying from clinical managers and nurses, although volunteers will not provide any medical care. They will also be trained on spiritual needs by pastoral care staff members.
Volunteers will rotate through two-hour shifts until the patient dies. During the shift, the compassionate companion may speak with the patient, hold his or her hand, or simply be present at bedside. Books and music will be provided.
Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, and must not have experienced the death of a family member or friend during the past year.
The No One Dies Alone program was started by Sandra Clark, RN, in 2001 at PeaceHealth Medical System in Eugene, Oregon.
For information on meetings and training, call Esther Jarrette at AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center, Hinsdale at (630) 856-8124, or Mimi Giles at AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center, La Grange at (708) 245-3920.