Volunteering with SilverStone Hospice is a selfless mission of compassionate presence. Time with our patients is when we begin to deeply understand that who we are is a gift to be given. It is a time to see the truth and reality that our patients are a treasure to be received in a delicate exchange.
In our company, we all volunteer from our CEO to the care team and community of volunteers. The heart of the volunteer is our company’s DNA. When you volunteer with us, we will give you the training, skills, and confidence to supportively care, empathize, and guide our families and patients through illness, grief, and loss.
As a member of our patient care team, you will bring joy to our patients and families through meaningful connection. The cyclical nature of giving and receiving fuels our hospice community. Through intentional and collaborative planning, we create an experience that simulates activities and environments our patients enjoy. As you give your time to listen to life stories, share hobbies and reflectively interact as our patients share hopes and fears they face every day, you will participate alongside your patient as they live life in the transition. You will bring calm reassurance that what matters most is not how much time we have, it is how we live each present moment.
Being part of the SilverStone Hospice Volunteer Team carries the responsibility of becoming an advocate for our patients. There may be times when you are sitting with your patient in a skilled nursing facility that, due to extenuating circumstances within our partner facilities, your compassionate support is requested. We partner alongside the facility care staff to honor our elders and patients.
You will have opportunities to play board games with your patient or sit peacefully while reading aloud your patient’s favorite novel. Your patient might ask you to take them to the piano to play their favorite songs and reminisce their favorite days as a concert pianist. There will be other moments when you sit close, holding your patient’s hand as you sing their favorite Frank Sinatra song.
As a volunteer care team member, there are several programs to support your community through your passions and hobbies.
With us, no one dies alone.
Our No One Dies Alone volunteers are specially trained to wait with our patients as their time of transition draws close. We support our patients as they are in their final 24-48 hours, especially if they live alone and are without family or friends.
Our team is as committed to medical and safety guidelines as it is prepared to advocate on behalf of our loved ones in the midst of challenging times.
We sit bedside and hold the hand of our patients, we read poems to them, we listen to their favorite music as they lay with shallow breath. We master the art of being present beside our patients and are always accessible to the family in the most challenging of circumstances. We are fiercely compassionate and vigilantly support each patient, so that no one dies alone.
I spent an hour with our patient and her husband. They loved the flowers I brought for her. I also got them dinner from Whole Foods and her husband couldn’t believe it. I told her the flowers were her husband’s idea and he gladly took credit with a proud smile. He cherishes her like a prized jewel as she rests in her hospital bed. We sang songs and laughed together. She was in minimal pain but high spirits. As I left she said “I love you”. I told them that I’ll be back Monday and we agreed to open a bottle of red wine together to share.
It is late Friday night and I’m sitting vigil. His son is exhausted from work and needed some time to go to his home and sleep. We are listening to Etta James “At Last” and as I sing to him, he whispers the words and taps his finger on the hospital bed railing to the sway of Etta’s soulful sound. I ask him if he’ll dance with me. We hold hands and he whispers “I love you.”
When I walked in to visit our patient, the private paid caregiver said that she had been screaming all morning and the caregiver couldn’t calm her. The family refused to give the patient any sort of comfort medications because they worried it would cause their mother to die. As I stepped closer, I could see her whole body shaking. She was curled in the fetal position laying on her side. I calmly walked next to her bed, bent over and began to gently rub her back. She was trembling and so frail. I whispered in her ear and asked if she would like to listen to music with me and maybe read some of the Psalms together. She shook her head “yes”. I sat beside her bed, holding her quivering hand and playing my “calm” playlist. Simple piano music that eases my own anxious feelings when they come. Holding her left hand in my right, I said prayers of peace and safety. After 10 minutes of actively holding this space alongside our sweet patient, her body stopped shaking and she began to relax. Her private care attendant said she “couldn’t believe it” and wanted to know what it was I was doing to calm her, since all day the care attendant couldn’t calm our sweet patient. The private home care attendant and I took turns reading Psalms to our dear sweet one for the next hour and occasionally pausing to listen to a song together. When I quietly stood up to leave, I realized that our sweet patient was not asleep, she was awake and opened her eyes, raised her hand and blew me a kiss. These are the moments we hold close and always remember.