Hospice care company seeks volunteers

  • Sunday, March 3, 2013

The word 'Caris' comes from an ancient Greek word that means "grace." It is that ideal that helps guide Caris Healthcare - a company that is currently looking for volunteers in North Augusta and Aiken County as a whole.Caris was founded in 2003 and claims to have touched more than 20,500 lives. The company provides hospice care to people with life-limiting illnesses and their families. Volunteers are currently needed to provide a number of different services, from spending time with patients to mowing a yard or running an errand and anything in between."I have the distinct privilege to work with patients who are at the end of life and help make connections with volunteers who are willing to offer their compassion, energy and talents to add to the quality of patients' lives," Michelle Robinson, the chaplain/volunteer coordinator at Caris said.Patients can reside in their homes, in a nursing facility or an assisted-care facility. Caris individualizes the plan for each patient depending on his or her needs and offers a wide range of services."Sometimes they talk with patients and sometimes they sit quietly and hold their hand, simply offering the presence of another human being," Robinson said. "They read, sing, write down their stories for family members or offer spiritual support. Other volunteers provide pet visitation as many of our patients are unable to go outside."The volunteer orientation process requires for volunteers to submit to a background check. Direct patient care volunteers also require a drug screening, a TB ppd and are offered a hepatitis B vaccination. Once volunteers pass they are set up with an online education system, which requires that they pass a certain number of modules per month to continue volunteering.Though the company's main office is based in West Columbia, the recruitment process is ongoing. Caris is also branching out and into the area."One of the centers that we serve is the NHC (National Healthcare) in North Augusta," Julia Hess, the administrator at Caris Healthcare said. "That's where a lot of our patients are that will receive these services, so North Augusta is very important to us. To volunteer or for more information on Caris Healthcare visit their website at http://carishealthcare.com/volunteers.aspx.

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