Horizon Hospice Final Hours volunteers

Tools

by Jennifer Tomazic

MEQUON --    Imagine a place where no one is alone and there's always someone there offering comfort. That place is Horizon Hospice in Mequon.

Lucy Cohn, Sharon McCauly, and Cheryl Lingle all chat about their memories at hospice and Cohn is usually the ring leader.

"Oh I don't teach them a thing," says Cohn.  "I've learned more from them than they have from me."

But Lingle will beg to differ.

"It's an honor to be with you and to help in you whatever way we can," says the volunteer.

After volunteering for years with hospice, Cohn is now the one receiving the services. But it's hardly work for McCauly who is also a volunteer.

"I have a desire to do it, to give back to my community in that way," say McCauly.

She says she wants to repay the kindness she received when her mother was at Horizon Hospice. She knows how difficult that time can be on families, so she's one of 15 volunteers in relatively new program named Final Hours. They're called on when a patient is in their last hours of life to provide love and support to the patient and their family.

"Just being there is a comfort," says McCauly.  "A lot times I sit and pray."

"She is someone who can bring a sense of calm, peace, and joy to patients families who are experiencing this for the first time," says Katy Cory.

She manages the volunteers and Cory says they go through 20 hours of training to prepare them for what they're about to witness.  She's confident there are more people like McCauly and Lingle who have the strength to be a Final Hours volunteer.

"It's a privilege and a way to walk away with a legacy someone has left behind and make sure someone hears that legacy," says Cory.

And Cohn is making sure everyone knows hers, "I volunteered everyday, someplace, and one day was at hospice."

Cohn's spirit of volunteerism has rubbed off on many of the people in the Final Hours program and she says there is no place she would rather be right now.

"They've helped me a lot because both of my sons died several years ago and so did my husband, so I had no one that was close to me. They made me feel loved, they have a way of doing that," says Cohn.

For more information on how to be a Horizon Hospice Final Hours volunteer, log onto http://www.horizonhch.org.

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