Brookdale thanks our hospice volunteers.
Today we close out our series honoring the many Brookdale Hospice volunteers who donate their time and talents to provide comfort and companionship to our hospice patients. These men and women help us provide emotional support to patients and their families. We know it takes a special person to assist those nearing the end of their journey in life.
Volunteer: Desmond Chee
Location: San Ramon, CA
Desmond seems very shy and reserved at first, but the second you introduce him to a patient, he has this very personable and relatable personality! He knows how to approach and converse with patients. It may be because he has been an EMT for the past two years, but either way he is always willing to help out when we need him to. All the while, he has two jobs and is a full time student.
He is always willing to go above and beyond for patients and their families. For example, we were serving a patient that lived at home with his wife. He once spent eight hours with the this family, all because he knew this was a time of distress for the patient’s wife and that he could help alleviate some of her stress by staying with her husband, and helping her run errands that she is usually unable to get done on her own. Desmond never complains when curveballs are thrown at him, and always willing to adjust his schedule accordingly to make things happen
Chee on why he volunteers: I volunteer in hospice to provide a better of quality of life for all our patients. I love seeing the smiles I get when I help to make a patient’s day better, even if it’s for a temporary, split-second of their day. I think hospice is an unsung field, but the patients are real and what you do for them is just as significant. My future goal is to become a Physician Assistant and I strongly believe that volunteering like this helps me to develop and maintain my compassion for helping patients.
Volunteer: Ken Cruise
Location: Centennial, CO
Ken and his therapy dog Bailey have made over 500 stops along their volunteer and hospice journey at local Brookdale communities and other senior living communities to spread a lot of love and support. They see multiple hospice patients, family members and staff during their weekly visits. If you multiply the number of visits to senior living communities by the number of people they interact with at each community, they have touched over 5,000 lives. Ken is also a veteran and has provided a number of “We Honor Veteran” certificates to patients and their family members. The city of Centennial will feature Ken and Bailey in their revamped volunteer section of the city’s web site and a local news channel featured Ken and Bailey recently. Click here to see the story on 9 News.
Cruise on why he volunteers: I started volunteering almost nine years ago. At the beginning, I did not know anything about the hospice program. When Bailey earned his therapy dog certification from Therapy Dogs International, TDI sends you a list of communities that are requesting certified therapy dogs for patient visits. Many Brookdale communities in the Denver area were on this list. I contacted the volunteer coordinator and set up a meeting at the Greenwood Village community. The volunteer coordinator was with the hospice program. I think you could say that I kind of fell into this great program by default. I believe that Bailey and I get more out of the program than the patients and residents that we visit do. It is very rewarding to see the smiles on their faces when we visit with the patients every week.
Read the intro to our three-part series honoring Brookdale Hospice Volunteers.