LEWISTON – Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice recently graduated nine hospice volunteers from a 27-hour training program co-sponsored with Lewiston Adult Education.

Hospice volunteers support terminally ill patients and their families in a variety of ways – by visiting and providing companionship, giving a caregiver a break for several hours, doing errands or helping with special projects. Volunteers can support patients in their homes, in long-term care facilities and at the AHCH Hospice House in Auburn.

“Our new hospice volunteers are a wonderful group of people,” said Nancy Greene, AHCH volunteer coordinator. “In the coming months, they will have the opportunity to be an integral part of the hospice experience and truly make a difference in our community. Whether through direct involvement with families, community outreach or office support, volunteers are valuable members of the hospice team and play a critical role in the end-of-life care we provide.”

Recent graduates include Ila Green of Poland, Elaine Elliot of Minot, Anne Smith of Turner, Inza Ouattara of Lewiston, B.J. Peres of Lisbon, Louise Devlin of Auburn, Patsy Paquette of Lewiston, Barbara Stoodley of Lewiston and Bertha Andrew of Auburn.

Peres, who will be visiting patients in nursing homes and the Hospice House, said, “I thought the class was great. It covered so many different subjects relating to end of life. I feel it has prepared me well for the volunteering I am about to do.”

Through speakers and special activities, the class curriculum explores a range of topics including the hospice philosophy, the needs of the terminally ill and their families, communication and listening skills, the impact of illness on the family, spirituality and grief and bereavement.

The next training course will be held on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from Jan. 23 to Feb. 20 at the Lewiston office of AHCH on Strawberry Avenue. For additional information or to sign up for the next training, contact AHCH volunteer services at 777-7740 or 1-800-482-7412. More information about AHCH can be found at ahch.org.

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