News

Volunteers perspectives in Palliative Care: Lucy Bainger

  • by Maria Lopez
  • May 18, 2023

During Volunteer week Lucy Bainger, Palliative Care volunteer visitor at Harbison Moss Vale also shares her perspectives about working in Palliative Care as a Volunteer.

What do you think is the most important part of your role?

Providing company and meaningful social connection.

What has surprised you most about your role as a pall care volunteer?

The warm response of those I visit, and how much the mutual the benefit seems to be. Also how much need there is.

Tell us about your most memorable moment as a palliative care volunteer.

Hard to pick one but …A lady I visit regularly once told me she felt she was dying, while holding my hand very tightly (she was in a lot of pain at the time). We sat silently, holding each other’s gaze a long time, and eventually I asked her “And how do you feel about that?”. She continued looking at me intently for a long time, then suddenly gave a wry grin and said “I have mixed feelings about it.” Paradoxically, we suddenly both laughed. Later, at the end of the visit, she told me how much it meant to her that she could talk to me about dying. I reflected later how this felt like a real gift, and how much we seemed to communicate during that visit, with very few words.

What is the one thing you would tell someone who is considering becoming a palliative care volunteer?

Listen with respect – without judgement or assumptions.

What’s your secret talent?

I don’t know – love? Maybe my acceptance of death and dying as a central part of life.

Thanks for your contribution Lucy!

 

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