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HFM Hospice Volunteers Receive Dementia Care Training

Pictured in photo:
Back left to right: Sue Fink (volunteer coordinator), Joann Budnik, Laura Hayes-Stoeger, Ruthann Volcheff, Nancy Zabel, Jane Seeger, Ray Krueger, Jane Krueger and Nancy Twichell

Seated left to right:
Shirley Fessler, John Shoop, Barbara Kanera, Deacon Paul Kieffer
Thirteen volunteers from HFM Hospice recently received four hours of training in Dementia Care. Christine Thill, RN and National Board Certified Alzheimer’s Disease educator presented the class which included "Challenging Behaviors," "Successful Interaction for Persons with Memory Impairment" and "Dining with Dignity."

The volunteers were also given the opportunity to interact with residents and staff at Libby's House, an assisted living community located in Plymouth. Owner and administrator (and Hospice Team Leader Leah O'Barski's sister) named this facility in honor of her grandmother, Libby Feiller, who was also a nurse. Because HFM Hospice often cares for patients with dementia, Volunteer Coordinator Sue Fink sought out this specialized training for the volunteers who do companionship and respite visits for terminally ill patients.

"I learned that those with memory impairments may lose their values filter," Volunteer Jane Krueger shared, regarding this opportunity. "We were privileged to see the Libby's House staff engaging and encouraging the whole person, respecting the mind, body and spirit of the residents.  I learned that I need to go "where they are" and that might be in a different time or place, but it is reality for them."

Information about Libby's House can be found at libbyshouse.com or by calling (920) 892-8324. Information about becoming a hospice volunteer can be found by calling (920) 320-6532 or emailing sfink@hfmhealth.org.