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Friends who are there until the end...The Rocky Mountain Hospice Volunteers

The volunteer group from Rocky Mountain Care and Hospice beautify the Price City Peace Gardens with their kinship to their fellow man. Each volunteer spends several hours a week with their patients.
Hospice volunteers perform services such as respite care, friendly visits compassionate family support and help with end-of-life projects. They are advocates of life who work with a hopeful spirit.
Both men and women alike enjoy the volunteer work, which some say keep them feeling young.
The prestigious Silver Bowl Award for volunteer service is presented to Albert Bovier on April 29, by Rebecca Mason of the volunteer center of Carbon County and Lt. Governor Gary Herbert.

By C.J. MCMANUS
Sun Advocate community editor

Those in the twilight of their lives in Carbon County can count on a helping hand. At Rocky Mountain Care and Hospice (RMH) a friend, compatriot, a partner will be there, until the end, letting every patient they take under their care know that they are not alone and never will be. Aside from hospice the facility also provides home care and skilled nursing services.

A volunteer at the hospice facility had this to say about her service to the community, "I do it for what I receive in return....," said a program supporter who wished be referred to as Judy. "A bright smile from someone who needs to talk. A warm hand to hold while they tell a story that the family has heard a thousand times before. A warm embrace from someone who needs human contact at that moment. And I do it to lighten the load of the family that needs to reconnect with themselves and each other.

For those who are new to the hospice program, it is set up to assist individuals, their families and caregivers achieve the best quality of life during a life limiting illness. Hospice treatment includes physical, emotional and spiritual care.

Hospice focuses on patient comfort instead of curing the underlying disease or condition. Hospice patients are encouraged to participate in activities and functions they enjoy and the service is for children, adults and the elderly, according to information obtained at the company's website at www.recare.com.

In April of 1997 RMH received $25,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to establish a faith in action project. According to RMH, these funds have been allocated as "start-up" funding to provide volunteer services to patients with terminal illnesses and their families.

The volunteer program is a non-profit organization that provides volunteer services to the community, in sync with value of helping people maintain independence throughout their life. Volunteers will help community members with friendly visiting, telephone reassurance, yard work, light housekeeping and other needs such as:

•Respite care.

•Help with end of life projects.

•Compassionate family support at the patient's home.

•Assisted living facilities.

•Along with other skilled nursing programs that can include 24 hour care.

To meet the grant requirements and hospice guidelines set forth by Medicare, hospices must provide five percent of its monthly client hours from volunteers.

From January through June 2008, RMH Volunteers provided 409.5 hours and the Faith-In-Action program provided 322.6 hours.

"We currently have 13 volunteers, who work between hospice and Faith-In-Action," said RMH officials. "We believe that people have the right to maintain their independence and dignity throughout their life. Each individual who receives our services receives dignity and skillfully managed care, with the option of receiving compassionate service from our dedicated volunteers."

Every year, Utah picks a handful of volunteers to receive the Silver Bowl Award. This year Albert Bovier, who has been a volunteer for RMH since 2000, was awarded the Silver Bowl.

Bovier is a retired pharmacist and at 73 year-old was one of the original five volunteers that started with RMH. Almost eight years later he is still going strong, said the RMH data.

Bovier visits an average of three hospice clients weekly and when the Faith-In-Action program was started he jumped on board and also visits clients who need just a little help in order to remain in their own homes.

He puts in over 400 hours of volunteer time annually and says he "will do this until the day I die because I love it so much."

If the RMH has not already demonstrated just how much their volunteers can accomplish, the facility was recognized by Pinnacle Consulting this year as Best in Class for their service.

The award reads, "Pinnacle Consulting certifies that Rocky Mountain Hospice of Price is committed to achieving high levels of customer satisfaction and has achieved a 'Best in Class' rating for their volunteer service."

The care facility also receives many compliments from the families about what a wonderful job our volunteers do and how much compassionate help they give.

"The most precious gift you can give in life is your time," concluded the RMH press release. "And what better way to spend a couple of hours a week than doing charitable compassionate, volunteer work?"




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