It’s something we don’t often like to think about, let alone want to think about. But the truth is, we will all experience it at one time or another in our lives.
Have you sat with someone at their end of life? The experience of being with a loved one as they pass away can be one of the most painful and difficult experiences anyone can go through.
It’s also a sad reality that some people die alone, without the comfort and support of loved ones.
A new volunteer initiative at NMC Health is providing comfort, dignity, and reassurance to patients, families, and medical staff. The Comfort Companion program currently consists of eight volunteers who provide the most valuable of human gifts: a dignified death with a caring presence at bedside.
Knowing that someone is there with them, holding their hand, and offering words of comfort can be incredibly reassuring. The dying person may feel more connected and more at peace during their final moments.
When we sit with a patient at the end of life, our presence can help create a sense of closure and peace. We offer the patient a listening ear, allowing them to share their thoughts and feelings about their life. This can be a valuable opportunity for the patient to reflect on their life and find a sense of acceptance and closure.
For the Loved Ones
During this time, simple acts of daily care begin to look different. As a caregiver, you’re making complex end-of-life decisions that can come with feelings of grief and loss, sorrow and anxiety, and anger and denial. Perhaps you’re even somewhat relieved that your loved one’s struggle is coming to an end – and feeling guilty about those thoughts.
The Comfort Companion program is here to support you, too, by providing you with a chance to say goodbye and express your feelings. We’ll also be here as you begin to come to terms with your loved one’s passing and begin the grieving process.
The Comfort Companion program at NMC Health honors and shows respect for all lives.
If you would like to provide a calming presence to patients at the end-of life through the Comfort Companion program, or if you are interested in any of our many other volunteer opportunities, please call 316.804.6057.