Local hospice volunteer enjoys developing relationships

Published 1:30 pm Monday, April 8, 2024

National Volunteer Appreciation Week starts April 21, and Heritage Hospice in Danville is looking for local volunteers. To celebrate volunteers this month, Heritage Hospice is featuring one of their long-time volunteers, John Fulton.

“I’m retired, but I’m not ready to quit,” John Fulton, Heritage Hospice, Inc. volunteer shared. “This seemed like a good way for me to continue to be helpful with people without all the stress that goes with a real job.”

From Boyle County, Fulton has visited patients both in their homes and in nursing facilities.

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“The first thing I want to do is develop some type of relationship with the patient,” he said. He also works to establish a relationship with family members too. “Death is not just the patient’s experience, it’s the experience of the whole family.”

Sharing a story of his experience in patient care he said, “One of our families asked me to read the Bible to their loved one. As I was reading, she looked up at me with these bright, clear blue eyes and I thought, ‘this is why I’m here.’”

He encouraged anyone who likes being with people and helping to consider volunteering with Heritage Hospice. “I get as much out of this as I give, if not more,” he said. While patient care may not be for everyone, John shared that there are still ways to be involved as a volunteer at Heritage Hospice. “You can always work in the office!”

Volunteers are the foundation of Heritage Hospice, Inc. The organization itself was founded by volunteers under the leadership of Margaret Caldwell in the late 1970s. Since then, volunteers have continued to play a vital role at Heritage Hospice, Inc., which provides end-of-life care for patients in Boyle, Garrard, Lincoln, and Mercer counties. The opportunities available to volunteers vary from providing companionship for a patient, making satisfaction calls to families, or filing and data entry at the office. There really is something for everyone.

Spring Volunteer Training will be taking place at Heritage Hospice on Saturday, April 13 from 9 am to 3:30 pm. Volunteers must be 18 years or older, have reliable transportation, and complete an application screening process.

Heritage Hospice will also be hosting a Spring Frills and Fashion Show on Wednesday, April 24, beginning at noon at The Showroom in Danville. Tickets are $30 and include a delicious lunch. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Wendy Hellard, Director of Volunteer Services, or Renee Bibler, Volunteer Services Coordinator, at 859-236-2425 or email whellard@heritagehospice.com or rbibler@heritagehospice.com respectively.