Volunteers perspectives in Palliative Care: Mel Jones

  • by Maria Lopez
  • May 19, 2023

During Volunteer week we would like to bring you Palliative Care volunteer perspectives around their job and all the amazing work they do.

In this instance, Mel Jones from the Palliative Care Central Coast LHD Team shares her perspectives:

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

My original reason for becoming a volunteer began over 10 years ago when my Lions Club pledged to achieve a Palliative Unit on the Central Coast. Over 2 years ago our dream became a reality and now we are working towards a 2nd unit at Wyong Hospital by 2024. My passion to work and support the patients and families at this very special time was exactly where my journey began to become a volunteer in this ward. We are there to assist and support both the patients and the Nurses equally.

I don’t do it for glory, I do it because there is always a need.

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

As I began my role, I was aware that this may become very challenging and distressing to me, but it has not been like this at all.

We have the time to sit with the patients, listen to their stories of their life, and just sit beside them if that’s what they need. We are there to fill the gap that the nurses do not have the time to do.

Tell us about your most memorable moment as a volunteer.

There have been many special moments that will stay with me forever. To be part of this special part of our patient’s life is indeed a great honour and privilege. One of my most memorable moments was with a special elderly gentleman who was near the end of his journey. He was bedridden and unable to speak, and I was able to wheel his bed onto our beautiful veranda with views of our lovely bush. As I took him outside his face lit up with joy to be out in the fresh air and sunshine once again. I remained with him till his family arrived and intended to leave them, but they insisted that I stay and hear his story of how he was a passionate Gardener and loved the Australian Bush. It was an Honour to be with him at this memorable end to his Life.

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

You need compassion, and an open mind.

You need 2 Ears to listen, 2 eyes to look at the patent as a person, 2 hands to touch and hold their hands, if that is what they need, a touch means the world to someone who no longer can speak.

Treat the patient as you would wish you and your family to be treated, with respect, love and compassion.

What is your secret Talent.

Walking their pets, delivering lemonade ice blocks, and bring a smile to their faces.

This is the highlight of my day.

Thanks for your contribution Mel!


Upcoming Events

NSW Network of Managers of Palliative Care Volunteer Services – December meeting & Christmas lunch
  • DECEMBER 7, 2023
  • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

NSW Network of Managers of Palliative Care Volunteer Services – December meeting & Christmas lunch

The role of the Network is to ensure best practice for NSW Managers of Pall...

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