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Rotary Club gets back in the groove with Kindred Hospice

After a hiatus of one year, Bainbridge Rotary is back in regular weekly meetings, held each Tuesday at noon at the Bainbridge Country Club.

This week the program was presented by three associates from Kindred Hospice, an organization based in Bainbridge that serves 13 counties of Georgia.

First to speak was Bonnie Warren, a lively lady who described her job as the manager of volunteer services, wherein she recruits and trains new volunteers. She visits new patients and determines their needs and personalities before she connects them with the “right” volunteer.

She is also known as the Whamo Lady based on her visits to nursing homes before COVID-19, where she taught the residents how to do the Whamo dance when they won a card game. She demonstrated the dance to the amusement of Rotarians.

During the past year when indoor visits were limited she has been visiting residents by waving little signs outside their windows. She explained that everyone needs to know they are loved and it is her aim in life to spread joy. She invites anyone interested in becoming a volunteer to contact her at Kindred.

Next speaker was Nichole Thomas, the care consultant. She described the process of how referrals can be made, by physician, health care workers or thru a family member.

She stressed the fact that not all people who are referred to Hospice are scheduled to die within a certain time. “We actually have people who graduate from Hospice,” she explained. The normal course is for a person who has been diagnosed and designated as having six months to live can be referred to hospice. But a family member may call for assistance, at which point Hospice evaluates and determines the patient’s needs. “We will meet you wherever you need us,” she added, “and develop a case plan of care.”

Regina Jones, RN, is the nurse who makes the initial assessment of a newcomer. She goes to the person’s home or place of residence and reviews all medicines and procedures. “Pain management is a big issue with most people. We handle that and sometimes people get better and are discharged.”

She described the biggest job now with the advent of COVID-19 as being a second pair of eyes. “People do not have to be home bound in order to be on hospice,” she explained.

“As a team it is our job to meet the patient needs until the very end – be it discharge or their passing on.”
All three speakers noted that their costs are covered by Medicare.