‘Helping them find peace in their last days’

Hospice volunteer enjoys friendships with others

 

Name: Eunice Bakken

City of residence: Albert Lea

How long have you volunteered with Mayo Clinic Health System-Hospice?

Since Feburary 15, 2011 — eight years

Had you had any previous involvement with Hospice before becoming a volunteer (through a loved one or friend)?

Working in a nursing home, I met many volunteers and I had a friend who volunteered.

How did you get started as a Hospice volunteer? Why was this something you wanted to do?

I went to training classes, and after years of working in nursing homes, I wanted to make people comfortable in their last days.

What type of training did you complete to be a volunteer?

At least eight hours of training from Hospice staff.

How often do you volunteer, and what are your duties you typically fulfill in your volunteer work?

I have one patient at this time and sometimes two a week. I try to make them comfortable and take them to activities, go outside if it’s nice, read stories or from the Bible, massage their hands to relax them and reminisce about old days.

What do you gain/enjoy most about being a volunteer?

We are the helping hands of God, helping them find peace in their last days. I enjoy the friendship I make getting to know each person.

Why would you encourage others to consider becoming a Hospice volunteer?

It’s very rewarding to help others.

Are there any other volunteer/community efforts you are involved in?

I play the organ for church services when needed. I help tie quilts every week at my church, play piano for Bible study at St. John’s, take care of the chapel at Good Samaritan. In Hospice, I make bars and help at the salad luncheon,  help at two memorial services and bake cookies and help serve at Memories Aglow.