A VOLUNTEER program at Cairns Hospital is bringing comfort to elderly patients, supporting delirium prevention and getting people home quicker.
Clinical Director of Older Persons Health Services Dr Edward Strivens said the Recruitment of Volunteers to Improve Vitality in the Elderly (ReViVe) program had been rolled out in the Older Person Rehabilitation and Assessment (OPERA) Unit and was already showing promising results.
“It is well known that volunteer programs improve the well-being and recovery of patients, lead to shorter hospital stays and also play a key role in preventing delirium,” Dr Strivens said.
“We are seeing an average of eight out of 10 patients returning home which is an incredible result. All we need now are more volunteers so we can help more patients.”
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation volunteer Marg Moller recently joined the ReViVe program.
She said it gave her a strong sense of fulfilment. “The feedback you receive from the staff and families is really humbling,” Ms Moller said.
“A lot of the time people just want someone to sit and chat to, it can make the world of difference.”
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said volunteers were needed to fill slots from 9.30am-1.30pm, Monday to Friday.
“If you have some spare time and think you might be able to help out, even if it is just one morning a week, it would make a huge difference to our elderly patients,” Mr Franz said.
“Our volunteers are the backbone of our Foundation and the Far North would not be the same without them.”
ReViVe volunteers support patients by helping with physical and supportive activities, mealtimes and by simply providing companionship.
For further information contact Volunteer Co-ordinator Anne Chirio on ph: 4226 8993.
PHOTO: Patient Virginia Heath has a laugh and a chat with Foundation volunteer Marg Moller.
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