National NODA program offers companionship in final moments of life
JACKSON, CA - Hospice of Amador and Calaveras has ushered in a new program for patients facing final moments of their lives without the presence of a loved one at their side.
The No One Dies Alone (NODA) program is a national volunteer-centered program that was started in 2001 by Peace Health in Eugene, Ore. It has since been adopted and adapted for use by hospitals and hospice agencies across the nation, and it does exactly what the name provides: ensures that no patients will face their last moments alone.
NODA volunteers for Hospice of Amador & Calaveras will provide the support and physical presence to the patient and sometimes the family during this crucial time wherever the patient resides, at home, in a care facility, or hospital.
Volunteer Coordinator Melissa Justice said, “This program warms my heart; these volunteers provide companionship and bring light into these patient’s lives when they have no one else to bring it.”
Because the needs and desires of dying patients and their loved ones differ, volunteers will be trained to tailor their approach to align with the patient’s and family’s needs. In addition to simply being a compassionate, calming presence, other approaches may include talking and listening, reading of inspirational passages or scripture, playing soothing music, lighting candles, and more.
Hospice of Amador & Calaveras Executive Director Ariane Debien said, “We are so thrilled to be bringing this program to our community. Our mission is to help those who need it the most and providing peace to those patients who do not have physical companionship and loving care in their final moments is extremely important to us.”
To facilitate the start of this program, Hospice of Amador & Calaveras held a two-day training for volunteers on October 16-17, but more training sessions will be offered. For more information on how to become a NODA volunteer with Hospice of Amador & Calaveras, or other volunteer opportunities, contact Melissa Justice at 209-223-5500.