John Hoffman has been a constant presence at Regional Hospice and Palliative Care since 2014. He is the only Regional Hospice volunteer who has earned the “Gold Level” President’s Volunteer Service Award, for volunteering 500 hours per calendar year, all four years since the agency was accepted into this prestigious program. We asked him to share his experience with us.
What inspired you to become a part of Regional Hospice and Palliative Care (RHPC)?
“My wife and I had a longtime friend, Mary Beth Hickey, who was the former Volunteer Director at Regional Hospice. I had retired from my job in 2013, and one day I ran into Mary Beth at Dunkin Donuts. She mentioned becoming a volunteer and in effect, she recruited me that day.”
What is your role at RHPC?
“Originally, I trained to be a Family Support Volunteer, which involves visiting with patients in the community to provide companionship and/or respite for their loved ones. But then, when the Center opened, I exclusively became a Lobby Greeter, a role I thoroughly enjoy. Lobby Greeters welcome visitors to the Center and point them in the right direction.”
What has your experience been like at Regional Hospice?
“It’s been great. I like the people. I like the flexibility. Overall, it’s rewarding. I enjoy dealing with family members and working with the other volunteers.”
What does volunteering do for you?
“It’s added new experience to my life. My wife died in 2014, and volunteering became something to fill my time in a meaningful way.”
Is there an experience you’ve had with a patient that is especially memorable?
“Yes. We had a patient with ALS who stayed with us for seven months. She was out and about in the beginning of her stay, so we got to know her well. I saw firsthand the care she was receiving from staff and other volunteers.”
For families who are considering Regional Hospice, what would you say to them?
“I’d highly recommend that they visit us. People might have the idea that we’re a dark and gloomy place due to the nature of what we do. But anyone who has ever been here, experiences the opposite. The atmosphere is bright, spacious and positive. We’re like a fine hotel.”
Fill out a volunteer application today to join the Regional Hospice volunteer family!