Tranquility at Kennesaw Mountain, one of two inpatient facilities offered by Wellstar Community Hospice, opened in 2012. The other facility is Tranquility at Cobb Hospital. Patients and families receive “competent, compassionate end-of-life care in 18 private rooms.”
“Hospice is a place to allow people to pass with dignity and respect,” said Brie, a sophomore at Marietta High School.
The Waddington twins, the youngest of 66 volunteers, serve as Volunteer Ambassadors answering phones, filing documents, giving tours and greeting families and patients that come in. They will gradually work up to interacting with patients.
“Volunteering helps you become aware of what is going on in your community. You get the experience and you’re actually there doing things. And you get to give back to the community,” said Tessa, a sophomore at the Walker School. Both girls are interested in careers in the medical field.
“Community is important because it’s where you live, it’s the people around you. You would want them to do the same thing for you. (Volunteering) is giving back,” Brie said.
For many, being a hospice volunteer might be difficult because it is unfamiliar.
“We were a little nervous to start,” Brie said.
“(Hospice) is not necessarily something you should be scared of. Once you’ve experienced it, you understand it can be a good thing,” Tessa said.
Their first experience with hospice was when their aunt was a patient.
The Waddingtons, who volunteer most Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon, have already seen the benefits.
“I really like helping people by putting myself in different situations. The experience at the hospice center has developed a lot of skills of working with people. That’s been a big part of it,” Brie said.
“I have learned to interact with people in a difficult situation. Sometimes it’s hard to see people walking in and out and they’re really sad. You try to bring something positive to the situation,” Tessa added.
“I learned how different people react differently. I learned to have a smile and to try to understand what they are going through,” Brie said.
Volunteers like Brie and Tessa, daughters of Suzanne and Cliff Waddington, are vital to the hospice program. “The families and patients know that the volunteers do not have to be there, they’re not getting paid to be there, they are there because they want to be there,” said Carol Drobinski, volunteer manager of Wellstar Community Hospice.
Not only are the volunteers friends to the families and patients, Drobinski said they are another set of ears for the staff.
In addition to assisting with administrative tasks, volunteers help in various ways at the facility or in home such as sitting with a patient so the caregiver can go out, giving complimentary therapy such as hand massages, reading to patient, or simply being a supportive presence.
“I am really proud that (Brie and Tessa) are interested. The volunteers are a big part of our team,” Drobinski said.
Volunteers of all ages needed. To learn more contact Carol.firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.wellstar.org.