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Volunteer Programs

Most visitors to Lennox and Addington County General Hospital (LACGH) are familiar with the volunteers in red smocks who greet them, help them find their way in the hospital, sell HELPP tickets, and run the coffee shop.  But unless you have been a patient you may be unaware of the In-Patient Volunteers.

In-Patient Volunteers work with the nurses in both the Acute Care and Convalescent Care units of the hospital.  For those unfamiliar with what we do, I refer to us as the geriatric Candy Stripers (with apologies to our younger colleagues).  But therein lies our problem.  Since most of the people who have the time to volunteer are seniors, they are also snowbirds and cottagers so Volunteer Services is constantly in need of new faces in many departments.

The scheduled times are 8am to 11am, Monday to Friday. And our duties vary with the needs of the day. Typically, we arrive as the dietary staff is beginning to serve breakfasts.  They have brought up a cart of fresh water jugs full of ice that we distribute with fresh glasses and collect the used ones to go back to the kitchen. This is also an opportunity to see how the patient is managing with her breakfast.  Imagine how frustrating it must be to open those little containers with arthritic fingers, to find what is on your tray with impaired vision, or to learn how to butter toast with one hand after a stroke.  Later we collect the finished meal trays and assist patients to tidy their bedside tables, making sure telephone, Kleenex, books etc., are within reach.  Then we restock supplies in each room.  We porter patients to x-ray and tests, take papers to the office and samples to the lab, and return stretchers and wheelchairs to other areas of the hospital, as needed.  We can help patients who are being discharged to pack their belongings or we can sit with a patient who is anxious, confused, or lonely. 

There is a lot of walking involved for those few hours but otherwise all that is required is a compassionate heart.  Being bedridden and unable to do the simplest things for oneself can be both frustrating and disheartening.  The value of a smile and a helping hand is immeasurable.  

If you have few hours a month to share please contact Beryl Jacka, Co-ordinator of Volunteer Services at 613-354-2562.

A brief look at what we do