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Caring Companions – New Endorsed Program

Those defined as one of the most vulnerable citizens of our region, the elderly, struggle with isolation and loneliness. The experience of aloneness is compounded when an illness or fall necessitates a stay at the hospital. As the staff chaplain at West Chester Hospital, Jeff Perkins, also a Faith Alliance board member, witnesses daily dozens of elderly patients summon the courage to survive their circumstances. Most elderly patients are just longing for a caring person to provide company during their hospital stay.

 

There now is an opportunity to provide an answer to prayer for these older patients.

 

The Caring Companion Program at West Chester Hospital, is a newly Endorsed Program by the Faith Alliance.  The program is currently looking for volunteers to be Caring Companions.

 

Participation as a volunteer could look like this:

 

-Volunteer 4 hours once per month as a Caring Companion at West Chester Hospital spending time with 2-4 of our older patients.

 

-Caring Companions will utilize appropriate “activity boxes” during patient interaction. These boxes consist of books to read, towel/wash rags to fold, various arts and crafts items, and tablets upon which to play music. In some circumstances, the patient will only require simple conversation.

 

-OPTIONAL: Some Adult Caring Companions will serve as mentors for Youth Caring Companions during the summer months. These Adult Caring Companions serving as youth mentors will be needed at the hospital 4 hours per week during the summer months (as defined by the Lakota School Calendar).

 

-Training for Caring Companions will consist of a 2 hour West Chester Hospital Volunteer Orientation event led by Mrs. Christine Martin (hospital materials, background checks completed, flu shots during flu season, tb shots, and official ID badging). The second component of training will be Caring Companion Program specific. This event will last two hours. During this time they will delve into the nuts and bolts of the program. Finally, the Caring Companions will meet for one hour quarterly for additional and ongoing training/debriefing.

 

TO VOLUNTEER -Begin by accessing the WCH Volunteer Page at http://uchealth.com/westchesterhospital/about/volunteer-opportunities/adult-program/  then follow the link at the bottom of the aforementioned page directly to the program application.

 

For further questions, please contact West Chester Staff Chaplain, Jeffrey Perkins at (513) 298-3535 or Jeffrey.Perkins@uchealth.com.

 

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