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No One Dies Alone program

Volunteers Offer the Gift of Respect and Dignity to Patients

Antelope Valley Hospital offers a program that allows specially trained volunteers to serve as Compassionate Companions for patients who are on comfort care. Facilitated by Antelope Valley Hospital’s Palliative Care Team, the program utilizes Antelope Valley employees and/or volunteers to fulfill these compassionate companion roles. This program is offered to patients who are expected to perish within 48 hours and have no family/friends locally, or who have no family/friends involved or present.

Mission

Through the efforts of volunteers, No One Dies Alone, provides a reassuring presence to dying patients who would otherwise be alone. With the support of the nursing staff, compassionate companions offered patients the most valuable of human gifts---a dignified death.

Purpose

Volunteer Compassionate Companions will extend caring concern to the patients and community of Antelope Valley Hospital by providing a reassuring presence at the bedside of a dying patient who would otherwise be alone.

History

No one is born alone, and in the best circumstances, no one dies alone. Yet, from time to time terminally ill patients come to Antelope Valley Hospital who have neither family, nor close friends to be with them as they near the end of life. The hospital implemented this program to provide terminally ill patients an opportunity to die with dignity, alongside a companion and to ensure No One Dies Alone.

No One Dies Alone was created at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, Oregon, when a nurse caring for a dying patient was unable to fulfill a patient’s dying wish---that he not die alone. The patient had requested that she stay at his bedside, but she had to step away to check on her other six patients; when she returned to his bedside, the patient had died. This nurse, Sandra Clarke, CCRN worked together with the spiritual care department at Sacred Heart and created the very first No One Dies Alone program. Antelope Valley Hospital adopted this program in 2018.

Volunteers

As with all AVH volunteers, No One Dies Alone volunteers will follow the procedure and policy guidelines as established by the volunteer’s department. The role of a Compassionate Companion is to be themselves, and to understand the importance of empathy, especially to our most vulnerable populations. Extensive training will be provided, and volunteers will be notified at the time when the need for a companion occurs.

To register or learn more about the required qualifications, please contact the Volunteer Department at (661) 949-5102

For the safety of our volunteers, no volunteers will be permitted alongside patients with airborne isolation precautions, this includes COVID-19 patients.