This year, the Samaritan House ministry will begin to offer Respite Care to hospice certified patients in our area. This effort is in collaboration with Susquehanna Hospice, and will be offered for a minimum of five days to qualified referrals. There is a great need for this service in our area, and this new dimension will also keep volunteers active between guests. Details will be provided as the process unfolds.
Samaritan House will partner with Susquehanna Home Care and Hospice in sharing resources such as Bereavement Follow-Up and Education and
Training. Samaritan House volunteers are welcome to participate in programs
that are offered through Susquehanna Hospice. For more information, call Anna Dunlap (570) 948-9494.
Training Sessions for 2019
Several training opportunities will be offered throughout the new year, beginning in February of 2019. Topics will include: Pastoral Care of the Dying, Confidentiality and HIPPA, Compassion Fatigue, and The Basics (Care of the Dying). Each session will take place from 6:30-8pm at St. Peter's Parish Center. Desserts and beverages will be provided. All volunteers are encouraged to attend, along with a spouse or friend. These trainings are not required, but will serve to inform and refresh.
The first training is scheduled for Thurs., February 21st at 6:30pm. Fr. David Bechtel will speak on "Pastoral Care of the Dying", which will include a discussion on appropriate ways to communicate with guests and their families as death approaches.
Farewell & Gratitude
The Samaritan House Steering Committee members wish to acknowledge Karen Usavage for her many years of service to the Samaritan House as a Program Facilitator and volunteer. Karen will continue to serve as a volunteer for future guests, in between her travels. Thank You, and Best Wishes, Karen!
Sincere thanks to Lillian Fox and Laurie Coffee for representing the Samaritan House at the Alternative Christmas Fair held during the Dickens of a Christmas celebration. $610 was raised to assist the ministry.
All are invited to attend the next Book Group meeting on Mon., Jan. 28th at 6:30pm at the Samaritan House. Participants will discuss plans for the new year, and choose the next title for discussion. Your suggestions for future reading material are welcome. Bring a light snack or beverage to share. For more information, contact Laurie Coffee (570) 549-2210.
Important Policy Updates
Several policies have recently been updated. Please read these carefully, as the procedures have changed.
Time of Death - There will be no housekeeping or disposal of medication until after the
body has been removed from the house. Volunteers are asked to sit quietly and minister to
family members as needed. The body of the deceased should be covered with a sheet or
blanket and, and left undisturbed. Medications will be disposed of by the Hospice nurse who
is present at the time of death, or by a designated member of the Steering Committee. The
guest's possessions may be gathered for the family at an appropriate time after death occurs.
When a guest passes, the volunteer present for that shift should
call only the next volunteer on the schedule. The others will be
notified by a committee member after the house is vacant.
Bereavement Follow-Up will be provided for volunteers as
needed after a guest passes. Samaritan House volunteers are also
invited to take part in the Susquehanna Health Bereavement
Program. More information will be available soon.
Mark Your Calendars! The annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner will be held on Sun., May 19th at St. Peter's Parish Center. Dinner will be provided, and a guest speaker will be present. Mark your calendars and plan to join your fellow volunteers for for this inspiring event.
A New Door Bell
A new door bell has been purchased for the house. This can also be used as a 'call bell' by the guests, as well as to alert volunteers when family and friends visit the house.
The Call to Serve
"The call to serve involves something special, to which we must be attentive. Serving others chiefly means caring for their vulnerability. Caring for the vulnerability of our families, our society, our people. Theirs are the suffering, fragile and downcast faces which Jesus tells us specifically to look at, and which He asks us to love. With a love which takes shape in our actions and decisions. With a love which finds expression in whatever tasks we, as
citizens, are called to perform.
People of flesh and blood, people with individual lives and stories, and with all their frailty: these are those whom Jesus asks to protect, to care for, to serve. Being a Christian entails promoting the dignity of our brothers and sisters, fighting for it, living for it. That is why Christians are constantly called to set aside their own wishes and desire, their pursuit of power and look instead to those who are most vulnerable."
Pope Francis, 2015