Compassion From A Distance Program Helps Volunteers Connect with Patients During PandemicNavigator News
Bluegrass Care Navigators now offers a unique way to provide volunteer support to patients during the pandemic. The organization’s Compassion from a Distance program allows volunteers to safely support patients and families through a variety of socially-distanced or virtual activities developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hospice volunteers are a valuable part of the patient care team at Bluegrass Care Navigators. Volunteers offer companionship, emotional support, and assistance with daily activities to both patients and their families.
“Our goal is to support patients while keeping both the volunteer and the patient safe,” said Shellie Brown, Bluegrass Care Navigators Volunteer Services Manager. “The volunteer, together with their Community Engagement Coordinator, determine which activities are the most appropriate depending on the volunteer’s personal interests, and the needs of Bluegrass Hospice Care.”
Some examples of how volunteers continue to safely support hospice patients and families include:
- Care calls. Volunteers work at their own home, making weekly calls to patients and families to check on their needs, in support of our clinical team.
- Grief calls. Volunteers work at their own home, making companionship calls to bereaved family members in support of our counseling program.
- Porch deliveries. Volunteers drop off supplies, gifts and cards for special occasions, and other items to support patients and families without in-person contact.
- Telecare. Volunteers use Bluegrass Care Navigator’s HIPAA-compliant Zoom program to provide virtual companionship.
- Flower program. Volunteers are provided flowers and vases to create bouquets at home for no-contact delivery to patients and families.
- Window painting. Volunteers create cheerful window displays with partner long term care facilities.
“Our volunteer, operations and clinical leadership teams have been very innovative in developing safe processes and alternative ways to continue our volunteer program,” said Liz Fowler, CEO of Bluegrass Care Navigators. “Volunteers are a formal part of hospice care; in fact, we are required to have five percent of our patient care needs completed by volunteers. But most importantly, we know that the holistic needs of our patients do not stop because of a pandemic, and I am proud of what we are doing to continue our volunteer activities.”
Additionally, Bluegrass Care Navigators has adapted the volunteer training program with virtual onboarding and education. There is not cost to apply or be trained to volunteer with the organization.
As Bluegrass Care Navigators continues to serve more patients throughout Kentucky, we need more volunteers! For more information on this program or how to volunteer for Bluegrass Care Navigators, please call 855.492.0812 or visit bgcarenav.org.