Passage is a specialized program where trained volunteers provide support, companionship, and presence with the hospice patient and their family in the last 24-48 hours of the patient’s life.
“The hours and minutes before death can be filled with a sense of fear and helplessness for both the patient and family,” says Barbara Westland, BJC Hospice director. “Passage volunteers sit vigil with the patients and families, and watch attentively for any needs. They help those present find peace in the dying process.”
For patients without family or friends, Passage volunteers provide companionship in the patient’s home, or in a hospital or nursing home.
“Personally, this is one of the most rewarding things a person can do,” says Rodna King, Passage volunteer. “It is a blessing and a privilege to share so much with the patient during this time in their lives. I am giving them some of me, but I get so much more from them. It is an amazing experience."
Learn how to become a PasSage volunteer.