Become a Companion Observer volunteer at Hawkesbury Hospital

DO you have some time available to chip in at Hawkesbury Hospital?

St John of God Hawkesbury Hospital is launching its 2019 Companion Observer Program, which provides companionship, and emotional and physical support to patients.

Picture: Supplied

Picture: Supplied

Positions are now available for volunteers to take on this work, which assists ward staff in non-medical support of patients, particularly the elderly.

Companion Observer volunteers sit one-on-one with their assigned patients. They assist patients with personal care needs such as grooming, tidying up and attending to flowers.

If you volunteer, you might also assist some patients with meals by setting up meal trays, opening packages and encouraging patients to eat.

Companion Observers take patients for a walk where appropriate, or spend time reading to or chatting with patients, watching TV together and playing games.

A lovely, caring role for some volunteers is to provide companionship and comfort for end-of-life patients, especially those whose families are working or unable to be present during the day.

Volunteer Companion Observers need to be able to establish a good rapport with staff caregivers, patients and their families. They must be very respectful of patient privacy. The minimum commitment is one four-hour shift per week.

The Companion Observer program has been successful in preventing disorientation and confusion of older patients, reducing falls and lifting the spirits of many patients, especially those who are lonely and isolated.

One Companion Observer shared: “I love talking to the patients, sharing memories of the old days. Their faces light up when talking of the past. They have so many stories to tell…”

If you are interested in joining the Companion Observer program please contact Patricia Naylor on 0417 990 920. Training will be provided and you will be assessed for the role.

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