HONESDALE- National Hospice Month is a time to call attention to the trained staff and volunteers who help people spend their final months surrounded by family and loved ones at home—wherever home may be. According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, almost 1.6 million Americans living with life-limiting illness, and their families, receive care from hospice programs such as Wayne Memorial Hospice.

Wayne Memorial’s Hospice Department is dedicated to a concept of care that affirms life in all its aspects and recognizes death as a natural part of life. The staff uses a team-oriented approach to support a patient’s desire to die with dignity and with as much control as possible.

Wayne Memorial’s Hospice team includes a  Medical Director Philip Gutherz, MD,  registered nurses, nurse aides, social workers, therapists, clergy and volunteers.

During hospice care, volunteers provide many practical comfort services, including respite for the primary caregiver, visitation and companionship to the patient, running errands, light housekeeping, meal preparation, reminiscing with the patient, reading to the patient or just being there to hold a hand. WMH Hospice volunteers generally complete 18 hours of training in a very structured program.

The Hospice Department will be hosting fall training at the hospital for anyone interested in being a volunteer.  The dates are November 9th, 16th and 19th.  Participants must attend all three classes as well as a hospital General Orientation session.

If you have the time and compassion to share with others, please call 253-8737.  Other training sessions are offered throughout the year.

Wayne Memorial’s Hospice team offers services in Wayne County (570)253-8431 and in Pike County (570) 775-4266. A toll free number, (800) 675-3003 is also available.