Hospice Family Support Volunteers

Play a game. Lend an ear. Run an errand. RVNAhealth family support volunteers offer assistance that enables hospice patients and their loved ones to focus on what matters most — being together. Our patient- and family-oriented volunteers enhance quality of life.  And not just their patients’, but their own lives as well.

Here we introduce two of our family support volunteers, who bring gentle optimism and beautiful sounds to our patients and their loved ones: Tiffany Lee and Elise Kohler. Both are music therapy students at Montclair State University and volunteer under the direction of RVNAhealth music therapist, Sherrye Platt and Hospice Volunteer Coordinator,  Stephanie Notaro.

According to Tiffany Lee, if you have heart, anything is possible. Lee, an RVNAhealth music therapy hospice volunteer, would know. She is all heart.

A Hong Kong native and second-year graduate student in Montclair University’s music therapy program, Lee is devoting her practicum, or field work, to hospice service where she brings the joy and unity of music to terminally-ill patients and their families. Spending hours with those who are dying has reiterated the meaning of life and, for Lee, it is connectedness. In her native culture, family and loved ones are life’s foundation and the transition to the United States, where independence is revered, was difficult for Lee, who struggled with feelings of depression herself. Read On ››

There is nothing sad about the hospice experience; it’s actually quite joyful.

So says Elise Kohler, hospice music therapy volunteer and junior-year undergraduate at Montclair State University where she is working toward a music therapy degree. Kohler’s interest in music began in first grade after a teacher played the piano for her class; Kohler decided she needed to do the same to impress her friends, so she started taking lessons. By fourth grade, she added the flute to her instrument portfolio. In junior high, a friend’s aunt introduced her to music as a healing profession by sharing the details of her job as a music therapist. Read On ››

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