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Lee County Hospice Seeks Volunteers

Jeri Welch - 500.jpg
Jeri Welch

End-of-life decisions can be the most difficult someone will make.

The need for hospice care and the people who provide it continues to increase, thanks to the “Baby Boomer” generation.

Jeri Welch with the Lee County Health Department describes hospice as comfort care provided at the end of someone’s life.

She says the service can be provided in the home, a nursing home, or a hospital.

Welch says eligibility is based on a doctor declaring a patient has six-months-or-less to live and the patient choosing to allow nature to take its course.

She says hospice care does allow for treatment not related to the primary diagnosis, such as a cold or a broken bone.

Welch says responses are determined by the hospice care worker and the patient.

She says there are roughly 150 patients in Lee County utilizing hospice care.

Welch says the program is in need of volunteers because of a federal requirement to gain public buy-in and support.

She says the next round of volunteer training is scheduled for Tuesday, March 27 from 6:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.

Welch says the sessions last for several weeks to make sure people are prepared for what they will experience as part of hospice care.

She says that includes preparing volunteers for their patient passing away while in their care.

There is no cost to attend and more information is available by calling the health department at (319) 372-5225.

You can hear more with Jeri Welch by clicking the audio link.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.