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Hospice volunteers needed

Many organizations in Clark County operate on the help of volunteers.

Hospice East, which works with patients in their final stages of life, is looking to bolster its ranks.

“We heavily rely on (volunteers),” Hospice East Volunteer Coordinator Charity Pinkerton said. “Medicare requires 5 percent of our hours are from volunteers,” she said.

Throughout the organization, volunteers can work in the office, helping with fund-raising events or visit patients, she said.

“We have volunteers that visit patients in the hospital and volunteers that visit patients in their homes here or in Stanton,” she said.

The latter is Hospice East’s biggest need, she said.

“We need volunteers to sit with our patients for an hour or two,” she said, so family members and caregivers can have a break and run errands, like going to the grocery store.

She said relatives often feel guilty about leaving the patient, but there are benefits to all involved.

“If we can get them out of the house for a little bit, it’s helpful to the family and the patient,” she said.

Pinkerton said volunteers must go through several background checks and be fingerprinted prior to volunteering.

“It’s a vulnerable community we serve,” she said. “We have to make sure we get the right people in. We’re happy for them to help.”

The organization has a number of volunteers who have been there for many years, she said, and would like to find more who can make a long-term commitment.

“We don’t require a certain amount of time from anyone,” she said. “They give what they can.”

For more information about volunteering at Hospice East, call 744-9866.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0051.

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