“I enjoy listening to stores and visiting with folks and hearing their wisdom and stories taken from years and the history of their lives.” Abigail Lamar, Paradigm Health Volunteer
Paradigm Health hospice care volunteer Abigail Lamar shares a bit about her own journey and why she became a Paradigm Health volunteer.
Q1: Talk a little bit about your career/work/volunteer background?
Currently, I am a sales manager with Lewis Bakeries. I started out as a merchandiser, moved up to a sales coordinator, and almost a year ago I became a sales manager. I volunteered a little with a group at a church I used to attend. We helped clean up yards. I have always had a desire to help others.
Q2: How did you initially become aware of Paradigm Health and its volunteer opportunities?
Whenever anyone would ask me what I wanted to do or what I thought my purpose ij life was, I always respond: helping others. I always wanted to make a difference, but I never knew where to start. As a working mother life gets busy, and I put things I want to do on the back burner. My husband and I were talking, and he told me about the website volunteer match. That’s where I learned about Paradigm Health and the opportunity to volunteer.
Q3: What made you want to add a volunteer component to your education or professional/personal journey and why Paradigm Health?
My desire to help others. I remember being in elementary school and I went door to door selling stuff for our school fundraiser, that’s how I met Rose. She was a very sweet lady, in her 80s. She lived by herself a few houses down from us. We sat and talked for over an hour. I would go see her a few times a week. I have always enjoyed listening to stories, hearing folks’ wisdom and advice. Helping with things they are no longer able to do in a way that doesn’t make them feel like a burden is also important to me. When I learned about Paradigm Health and what they offered, I knew it was something I have always wanted to do.
Q: Talk a little bit about what you have been doing for Paradigm Health as a volunteer and especially now that COVID vaccinations have allowed volunteers to interact with patients again.
I am new as a Paradigm Health volunteer. I visit my new hospice friends once a week. We either talk, look at pictures, watch TV, or listen to music. It just depends on how they are feeling. There are also times we just sit in silence as companions.
Q: What do you enjoy most about the interaction with Paradigm’s patients and their families?
My favorite thing is seeing their smiles and of course hearing their stories!
Q: What would you most like to tell others who may be contemplating volunteering themselves?
Don’t let your fear hold you back. I was very nervous and scared to volunteer as a hospice companion. I feared the emotions I would experience in losing a friend. Seeing their smile and appreciation that you are coming to visit them in a time they are lonely makes all your fears vanish.
Q: What types of activities do you engage with the patients with and are they varied from patient to patient?
I have put folders together with a variety of large pictures. I have some games like tic-tac-toe and bingo we could play. I have some small paint projects. Activities would vary from friend to friend, even visit to visit.
To learn more about how to become a Paradigm Health volunteer visit our Volunteer page.