Wednesday, June 08, 2016
Visiting the sick
Now, UCLA has instituted a program for volunteers to visit patients with few visitors.
When you are in the hospital and feeling lousy and someone only ducks in a few times a day, it gets lonely. Sometimes older people, especially, are not in the same city with their kids and their friends may also be older and unable to run over to the hospital all the time. Also, even if a patient does have caregivers, sometimes those people need a break.
The Geriatrics Unit's Companion Care Program launched a year ago and has 45 companions signed up--the goal is 200.
They wear bright green polo shirts and often read to patients, play games with them, assist with feeding, or perform other tasks.
Some patients even tell the companions their life stories--as part of "The Living History Program."
A lot of the patients suffer from dementia, but still respond to a smiling face.
"They love talking about their lives," one volunteer said. "And I love hearing about them."