This week, Adirondack Health’s volunteer department will launch the No One Dies Alone program, aimed at providing compassionate companionship to patients at the end of life who may not have family or friends present at their bedsides.
The program is to be overseen by trained volunteers from the communities served by Adirondack Health, in close consultation with the health system’s patient care services department. At upcoming training sessions at Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake, volunteers will be taught about the dying process, feelings and sensations that may be experienced by those near death, how to sustain a comforting environment and what it means to be “present” – often in silence.
“We come into this life with the help of another human being, and we should leave this life in the company of a human being,” said Sandra Clarke, a registered nurse from Eugene, Ore., who founded the No One Dies Alone program in 2001. “The beauty of [this program] is, it gives the nurse peace of mind to be able to take care of their other patients without neglecting the one who has no one.”
The volunteer training sessions, part of Adirondack Health’s system-wide Age Friendly initiative, are four hours in length and free of charge. To learn more or register for an upcoming training, please contact Kelly Rutledge at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-897-2230.