Flint's Engineering Portfolio
Direct Care Hospice Volunteer
Hospice focuses on providing compassionate and supportive care to individuals who are nearing the end of their lives. Once admitted into hospice, a patient prioritizes comfort and quality of life instead of new forms of medical treatment. As a direct care hospice volunteer, my primary goal was to support the patients and their families during this final transition of the patients lives. My goal was simple: provide compassionate and nonjudgemental presence during the end-of-life journey. I was not involved in medical care of any sort, the only time I physically interacted with patients was with hugs or hand-holding.
I volunteered over the course of about two years with patients who were in their own apartments with months to live, in nursing homes with potentially weeks to live, and in the Mission House where patients were nearing their final moments.
There were many lessons I learned from this experience. Three important ones were:
- First, being around death makes it of the utmost importance to remember to live while you are here.
- Second, helping others is one of the best ways to help yourself.
- Third, silence is one of the keys to genuine conversation and connection.