Bridge Home Health and Hospice honored their Wood County hospice volunteers Tuesday with a luncheon at Sam B's restaurant in a festive celebration of the program's 25th anniversary.
Volunteers were recognized for providing assistance in such vital areas as caregiver relief, children's Camp S.T.A.R, and clerical tasks.
The 30 Wood County Bridge Hospice volunteers for 2009 are:
Deanna Appelhans, Dorothy Black, Harold Black, Eloise Brinker, Delbert Brown, Dorothy Brown, Marie Derkis, Debbie Feehan, Jean France, Ralph Francisco, Nancy Gilbert, Sandy Gill, Elaine Goodwin, Terry Householder, Mojabeng Kamala, Brenda Kirkbride.
Penny McMorris, Katie Mekus, Linda Mermer, Irene Michel, Marge Miller, Sue Moore, Don Niefer, Becky Rose, Shirley Sheldrick, Dan Tutolo, Elaine Valentine, Ned Valentine and Lois Wilson-Bright.
Appelhans, a Bradner area resident who has volunteered with Hospice for two years, finds the program a perfect fit for this stage in her life.
"I really missed being a nurse. I'm retired now" and Hospice is a perfect outlet for her skills.
Just recently she was called upon to provide respite care for a married couple where the husband, while still living at home, is a Hospice client.
"His wife wanted to go to a relative's baptism and didn't want him to be alone, so I went over there to help out," Appelhans said.
"Sometimes we make cookies; he likes that."
She has the utmost respect for her fellow Hospice volunteers.
"These people who volunteer are just wonderful. Some of these ladies are older; and there are gentlemen too," including husband-wife teams.
Among the latter are two ministers and their spouses, Ned and Elaine Valentine of Bowling Green and Dorothy and Harold Black, from Perrysburg.
"Bridge Hospice volunteers understand the important role they take in providing quality hospice care," according to Julie Tiell, volunteer coordinator.
"We have a mix of ages. Quite a few are retired, but several still work full-time," Tiell noted. "Some are nurses, but not all. A lot of time they're somebody who has been touched by Hospice themselves."
The local program's trained volunteers help fulfill the mission of Bridge Hospice by providing patients and families with:
¥ Respite/caregiver relief - short-term breaks where a volunteer stays with a patient so the caregiver can have lunch, go to the doctor, run errands or just take a moment for themselves
¥ Friendly visits - Volunteers visit and offer companionship and emotional support to patients and their families in both nursing facilities and homes
¥ Bereavement support - Volunteers accompany families to support groups, offer companionship, and act as buddies and group leaders at Camp S.T.A.R., Bridge's annual children's grief camp
¥ Clerical support - Volunteers assist office staff with routine but necessary tasks such as mailings, filing, and data entry, on either a routine or casual basis.
To learn more about Bridge Hospice volunteering contact Tiell at (419) 352-9808.
Bike for Bridge Hospice ride is Sunday
Bridge Home Health and Hospice will host their annual Bicycle for Bridge Hospice this Sunday at 1 p.m.
The ride begins and ends at the City Park in Bowling Green. Offered are a rider's choice of a 30- or a 50-mile fun ride.
All ages are welcome.
Benefits include exercise, food, fun and giving back to the community. All proceeds go towards helping Bridge patients needing end-of-life care.
Registration forms can be picked up at Bridge Hospice, which is located at the Wood County Hospital office complex at 1037 Conneaut Ave., Suite 204. Forms are also available at the Union Bank at 1300 N. Main St. in Bowling Green.
Call 419-352-9808 or 419-353-6088 for directions to pick up forms.