No one needs to die alone: End of Life Compassionate Companion
The Wesley Hospital is putting the call out to find a group of very special people, to provide companionship to patients in their final days and moments.
As a Chaplain in Palliative Care and Oncology, Leanne recognised the heightened anxiety of patients and their family and friends during COVID-19 restrictions, and championed an End of Life Compassionate Companion service.
“No one is born alone, and in the best of circumstances, no one needs to die alone. This program embraces the belief that no one needs to be alone during their final moments of life,” said Leanne.
“Yet from time to time patients find themselves at approaching end of life with neither family or friends present with them. It may be that the patient is from outside of Brisbane and does not have access to their support network. The service also supports families attempting a long bedside vigil for loved ones who are dying, that otherwise would not take that moment of respite.”
Through the efforts of volunteers, the End of Life Compassionate Companion Service provides a reassuring presence for patients who may otherwise die alone.
Leanne said that conversations with patients and families commonly reflects a need of patients and loved ones alike to not be alone at death.
“A pervading fear of dying alone is often expressed and the support of a compassionate companion at this time would be appreciated by patients, families and medical staff.
“A calm, reassuring presence makes a significant difference for patients and gives opportunity to honour life with dignity and respect.”
The Wesley Hospital is seeking expressions of interest for Compassionate Companion volunteers, to sit beside patients and work alongside clinical staff, in four-hour shifts.
The Wesley Hospital General Manager Sean Hubbard recognised the wonderful support the Pastoral Care team offers to all hospital patients, and the valuable contribution of their volunteers.
“The implementation of this volunteer program reflects The Wesley Hospital’s commitment to our patients to ‘Caring for you for life’ and is a valuable extension of our Palliative Care Service, caring for patients and their families through some of the most challenging moments.”
Extensive training will be provided for successful applicants.