GILCHRIST

GILCHRIST

Spotlight on Gilchrist Ambassadors

July 30, 2021, Gilchrist, Volunteers

Gilchrist is fortunate to have a dedicated group of volunteer Ambassadors whose sole mission is to educate the community about end-of-life care issues and the many ways Gilchrist can help people with serious illness.  

The Ambassador program is spearheaded by a longtime volunteer who is passionate about Gilchrist and guides the group’s efforts with unmatched enthusiasm. Our team members educate and inspire members of the community to have conversations with loved ones about their wishes for care at the end of life and to entrust Gilchrist when a family member needs hospice or elder medical care. 

Ambassadors also encourage people to volunteer with Gilchrist—particularly if they have personal experience with our services.  

Gilchrist Ambassadors educate the public on a variety of topics, including:

  • Understanding the hospice philosophy – myths and facts
  • Care for the caregiver – including the impact of COVID and helpful tips
  • Things my loved ones should know about my final wishes – the importance of advance care planning and the Five Wishes 
  • Facilitating difficult conversations about serious illness and end-of-life care
  • Grieving after a loss
  • Volunteer opportunities 

Misunderstandings About Hospice

Speaking to groups provides an opportunity for Ambassadors to correct misunderstandings about hospice. Some may believe hospice is a place, when it really is a philosophy of care focused on comfort and quality of life. Others may not realize hospice can provide care and support long before the final days and hours of a person’s life. Most of the families we serve tell us they wish they had come to hospice sooner. Ambassadors can encourage people to seek help earlier in their illness, so they can receive the full benefit of elder medical care and hospice services.

Gilchrist Ambassadors and Community Organizations

Gilchrist Ambassadors speak to a variety of organizations, including churches, community associations, government agencies, estate lawyers and Rotary clubs. This past year, despite the pandemic, our Ambassadors completed 18 virtual presentations to the community. 

Currently, our Ambassadors are focused on speaking to groups in the specific neighborhoods we serve. They have three virtual engagements scheduled with Baltimore City Parks and Recreation and two in-person talks with Howard County Community Associations.  

If you have connections with a community group that might be interested in having a Gilchrist Ambassador speak, please contact  Jane O’Hara at johara@gilchristcares.org. We can never have too many speaking engagements!  

To support our work, visit gilchristcares.org/give.

Authored by: Jane O’Hara, Gilchrist Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator

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