My husband and I volunteer for Hospice SLO County for their Pet Peace of Mind program. Through this program, we’ve fostered a beautiful shih tzu Toby, whose owner went into hospice care in 2013 when she was no longer able to care for Toby. Toby was severely neglected when we began fostering him in 2013, at 14 years old. Our friends who saw this poor dog didn’t think he’d survive more than six months.
The goal was to find a “forever home” for Toby, but placing an old dog with ongoing medical expenses is next to impossible. We regretted not being in a financial position to do adopt him ourselves. But Hospice Pet Peace of Mind stepped up to it graciously and dependably, paying his ongoing and costly medical bills.
Toby is now 18 and still loves his walks, food, and being around other dogs and people. He brings a smile to so many people we encounter. Hospice has also loaned us a very nice dog stroller to use for him on our walks, when his arthritic limbs protest.
Toby brought many smiles to my son’s face this year as Jeff lived with us during his cancer battle. I feel that Toby was part of the healing energy and process for Jeff.
We’ve given Toby a lot of love and good care, but without the loving care and financial support of Hospice Pet Peace of Mind, this beautiful animal would not survive.
Hospice is a life saver, on so many levels, and the people we’ve dealt with are deeply caring individuals.
I was referred to Hospice SLO County by my private therapist whom I was seeing because I was struggling with the death of my mother. My therapist said " you could benefit from having a crying buddy " and hearing from others who are going through the same thing.
The facilitators were so sincere at explaining that tears were welcome. That tears meant the people we lost mattered. That for every tear we cry, we heal a little more. The tears need to come out. This was a safe place where that can happen. That was very consoling to me.
Part of the group structure is that we can tell our stories about our loved ones over and over and over again. This is the place that doesn't get tired of hearing it from you. And the stories need to be told. This made the group very personal.
An important point that I learned is that I'm not trying to get *over* my mother's death. I trying to get through it. I don't want to get *over* it. I'll never be *over* it, but I can heal and become "me" again.
I would heartily encourage them to try out the group. Come to a meeting. No pressure to talk. Just listen if you want to. I would tell them that they would find comfort in being in a group that truly understood the emotional and physical pain of grief, and that the group would be of great support through the journey ahead, without judgement.
HSLO is the only volunteer hospice in SLO county, and I have volunteered there since 2006. HSLO supports its volunteers, clients and caregivers with valuable services, all at no cost. I have worked with hundreds of clients in my time with HSLO, and experienced first-hand the gratitude and the appreciation of clients who discover the range of our services. Whether HSLO is educating the community and reaching out to those who grieve, or offering respite during the most difficult times in our lives, it offers a special and extraordinary level of care and heart.
I work as a volunteer in the office answering telephones, greeting people, and helping with various office projects. All the people at Hospice of SLO - both volunteers and paid staff - are extremely dedicated to helping people in any way they can. They are very caring and sensitive to individual and family needs. It is a pleasure working with all of them.
When my husband died, I coped. I'm a good 'coper'. A woman I knew only slightly took me aside one day and said, "I know you think you can handle this. You probably can, but it will be better if you go to some meetings." She took me to my first Grief Support meeting sponsored by Hospice of San Luis Obispo County. I continued to go for almost three years. The facilitators were comfortable and comforting. It was a welcoming place to come to cry and laugh. We were all made aware that there was more help available. Individual counseling could be had at no charge. Some members came to group; some to individual therapy; some used both. Other facilitators were sometimes brought in. All were obviously trained and empathetic. Even when someone was having a particularly bad time, one always felt the safety of their ability to handle the situations that arose. We became friends. With their help, we held each other up. I brought newly grieving widows into their care, even after I had left. I shall remain forever grateful they were there when I was at my worst.
I have seen many people benefit from the many services Hospice SLO County has to offer. I think that all of our clients take something valuable away from the experience with Hospice as well.
Hospice SLO County is a well-run non-profit that has stellar staff and dedicated volunteers. The counselors are top notch and every donation - no matter how small - is acknowledged and fully appreciated. The organization provides free support to those dealing with loss as well as workshops and classes to help those in the role of caregivers. Volunteers provide in-home respite relief for caregivers and end-of-life doula services, in addition to pet peace-of-mind services. Free counseling in the form of individual and group sessions are available and the counselors bring their services to the community (schools, etc.) when a group is dealing with loss.
Volunteering at Hospice SLO has been such a positive impact on my life. Being in a professional environment where every person clearly cares for others has opened me up to a world of compassion. The staff and other volunteers are uniquely understanding and willing to reach to fit the needs of others, yet remain professional. I admire everyone involved with Hospice SLO and would recommend their services to anyone looking for the type of support we offer.