Janet Kelley: Hospice Volunteer

Janet Kelley: Hospice Volunteer

Allied Services Hospice Volunteer, Janet Kelley, is a former registered nurse who is known for her nurturing qualities. She’s a mother of four boys. Janet lives in Harding with her husband of 32 years, Attorney Eugene Kelley and their children. Janet’s brother, Attorney Bill Conaboy is the President and CEO of Allied Services Integrated Health System.

Coming from a very large family, Janet Kelley is very comfortable caring for others. “I’m one of 12 siblings; myself and two of my sisters are nurses. Whenever someone needs to be cared for, we always get the call,” notes Kelley. Looking back over her many roles as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, and friend, Janet says,” you’re always helping, that’s just what family does. Even as a young girl, my parents were always very active and involved in the community. Giving back is just in our nature.”

Throughout her years of giving and caring for others, one particular period holds most relevant to her current role as a volunteer at Allied Services Hospice Center. For many years, Janet’s brother-in-law was battling cancer and from diagnosis to treatment she and her sisters were all involved helping with appointments, hospital stays, and home visits.

“No matter what needed to be done, no matter how big or small the task, we were there. We were there for the entire journey. And even during his passing, I thought, what a privilege it was for me to be present. There are two special times in a person’s life; when you’re born and when you die. When a new baby is born everyone rushes in for that special time. I don’t think everyone realizes that it is equally special to be there for someone when they are leaving this world; and what a gift to me that I was able to be there in his last moments here on Earth. ”

Janet knows that the word hospice can be scary for some and that not everyone is suited for that line of work. However, she feels it is a true privilege to care for someone who is terminally ill. The spirit of hospice volunteering is borne from a genuine desire to give comfort, peace, and care to patients, caregivers and families during the end of life. Hospice volunteers have a tremendous impact on the lives of the patients they serve, the hospice team of which they are a part, and the families and friends of the terminally ill.

There are many ways in which hospice volunteers lend their time and effort to hospice organizations. Whether helping support patients, caregivers, and families directly, or by assisting the hospice with administrative work, there are always tasks in which the unique talents of each volunteer can be put to effective use.

“Not all of us can do great things, but we can all do small things with great love.”

This quote from Saint Teresa of Calcutta is something that Janet believes in whole-heartedly. “Whether you perceive yourself to have a special skill or no skill at all, everyone has something to offer. Often, the most important thing a volunteer can do for a patient is just be there. Your presence reassures them that they are not alone.”

To learn more about Hospice Volunteer Opportunities contact Kathleen Haikes, Volunteer Coordinator at khaike@allied-services.org or 570-340-6487.