Thursday evening I began my orientation at Angela Hospice as a volunteer. I recently completed my 8-week training course and the next step is to spend time in their care center on Newburgh Road in Livonia.
Orientation involves everything from learning how to assist and visit with patients, to emptying garbage cans to learning latex gloves worn when working in patient rooms are not worn in the hallways.
My mentor, whom I met that evening, works for Ford during the day and volunteers at Angela on Thursdays after his shift. He’s been there for a couple of years so was well-versed in the ins and outs of the care at the facility.
He and I talked during the evening to get to know each other and the topic about choosing to volunteer at a hospice came up. I offered that I had felt a gently tug for many years to do so and added that working here might better prepare me to die when my turn came. My mentor countered that it was his belief that volunteering at hospice teaches one to be better prepared to live. “Here you learn what is important in life.”
I look forward to those lessons.