Volunteers Assure That Patients Don’t Die Alone

Hospital volunteers are amazing! The Boston Globe wrote a great article about a wave of hospitals nationwide that are implementing volunteer programs with the goal of making sure patients have companionship when they pass away. About one-third of all deaths still occur in hospitals, despite efforts to discourage this.

“Frances Iacobucci was exhausted and worried. Her husband of 64 years lay semi-conscious in a hospital bed. Knowing he may not have long, she tossed and turned in a bedside chair until sunrise, not wanting to leave him. But now her children were insisting she go home and sleep.

There to take her place by Michael’s side was Sharon Cusack, a 57-year-old teacher’s assistant from two towns over — and a complete stranger. Cusack, who volunteers for a program designed to ensure that patients do not die alone, was one of two volunteers who sat with the 89-year-old retired television repairman during hours his family could not.

During Cusack’s Saturday night shift at Milford Regional Medical Center in October, about a half-hour after Frances drove home, Michael Iacobucci passed away. Cusack left a note:

‘I talked to him about the Pats game tomorrow evening and kept my hand on his shoulder to let him know he had company,’ she wrote in a journal given to his wife.”

Read the full article from The Boston Globe here.